This year the crowd and fans of Wimbledon will not be able to admire Roger Federer's class, Rafael Nadal's determination, Novak Djokovic's athleticism and Serena Williams' power. No strawberries with cream, no glasses of Pimm's, no middle Sunday, no queue.
The All England Club decided not to hold the 134th edition of the Championships this year. After days of uncertainty and rumors, the statement finally came: "It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be canceled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic."
A few minutes later, ATP, WTA and ITF released a new official statement: the 2020 tennis season will be suspended at least until July 13th. it is the third time in Wimbledon's centennial history that the Slam was canceled.
The first two, of course, were during the First and Second World Wars. During the Second World War the facilities were used by the British Army: this year the tournament organizers will make some All England Club facilities available to the National Health Service (NHS).
The COVID-19 pandemic is ruining the 2020 tennis season, putting at risk a year that had to be exciting from various points of view: the Slam race between the Big Three, Serena Williams's Slam record quest, the improvements of young players, the fights for the ATP and WTA thrones, the return of Andy Murray, a legend at Wimbledon.
The cancellation of the Championships goes beyond anything we've seen happening in tennis in the past few weeks. Wimbledon is a symbol, the greatest bulwark of centuries-old traditions, carefully guarded by generations of All England Club members.
But it is also the Slam of technological innovations, such as retractable roofs on the courts. The organization, the glamor, the charm, and the seraphic beauty of the tournament made it the most prestigious, awaited and important tennis event of the season.
From its foundation in 1877 to today. A symbol that will last over time, waging wars and pandemics, always remaining in its place, improved, arranged, but with the true essence constant over time, within its most intimate soul.
Wimbledon, unlike many other tournaments, if not the others, has an economic reason that makes cancellation less painful: insurance, which will allow the tournament not to fall into an economic disaster, as predictably will happen to other tournaments.
Unlike what is happening with the Italian Open (with all the criticisms about it), the Wimbledon organizers were very clear: in the past few weeks, they said that the tournament would not be relocated in 2020 and that the ticket holders would be refunded.
But one thing about the situation we are all experiencing is certain: the COVID-19 pandemic will end. All this will pass, the Championships will always be there waiting for us, with its green lawns, the London background, strawberries with cream and a glasses of Pimm's, ready once again to make its protagonists shine like Roger Federer and Serena Williams, who will also be at Wimbledon for next season.