COVID-19 global pandemic emergency is bringing the 2020 tennis season to its knees. The suspension of the season until at least July 13th has led to the cancellation of events. Wimbledon is also not an exception. The historic Slam, born way back in 1877, was the latest event to be canceled in a season that still raises many doubts about the future of tennis continuing in 2020.
Yet Wimbledon has a parachute that most events don't. The organizers of the Championships, thanks to insurance taken out in 2003, at the time of the Sars pandemic will be saved from losses, unlike other tournaments. An important investment made 17 years ago, but which today will allow the All England Club board to proceed both with the reimbursement of tickets sold and with a series of objectives that will allow them to be realized, despite the cancellation.
After the first and second World Wars, this is the third time that the oldest and most prestigious tournament in the world has been canceled. But the economic consequences will not be so serious. The tournament will survive without problems and it will return, much more awaited, in 2021.
It was impossible to move Wimbledon later in the season, because, as the All England Club groundsman explained, the grass of the courts could be more slippery later in the year.
What remains of Wimbledon 2020
Wimbledon, therefore, does not smile for cancellation, but neither it does cry.
Unlike many other tournaments, which have no insurance and which, in order to survive, require the sale of tickets, sponsors and medium coverage. In addition, almost all tournaments, with the exception of Wimbledon, do not have pandemic insurance.
The French Open preferred to move its 2020 edition to the end of September rather than cancel the event. For now, the Italian Open has not talked about ticket reimbursement, but only about reprotection: the organizers hope to be able to organize the tournament in 2020 in order not to lose ticket revenues and not to reimburse.
A controversial choice, but which highlights how the tournament would be in difficulty without annual revenues. The ATP 250 will be the tournaments that will inevitably suffer the most in this situation. For ATP and WTA, the COVID-19 pandemic could be an opportunity to rethink the season's schedule, perhaps lightening the weeks and leaving some breaks for the players during the year.
What is certain is that the cancellation of Wimbledon 2020 will have little economic impact on the future of the London Slam.