Richard Lewis: "The negative impact on Wimbledon and British tennis will be minimal"



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Richard Lewis: "The negative impact on Wimbledon and British tennis will be minimal"

The Wimbledon 2020 edition should have started on 29 June 2020. But as we all know well, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world was canceled due to the global pandemic that is completely changing the face of the season.

Wimbledon is also a fundamental event for the economic health of British tennis, in addition to its image and prestige. Last year the Championships generated total revenue of almost 50 million pounds: evidence of how the tournament was in a great moment of health, from all points of view.

A large part of this sum went to the Lawn Tennis Association, which for the first time after years of losses marked a positive increase in earnings. Given these circumstances, one might think the decision to cancel Wimbledon 2020 due to the global pandemic could have huge repercussions on the budgets of British tennis.

And instead, thanks to the far-sighted choice made by the All England Club in 2003 to insure the tournament against any eventuality, including pandemics, it will guarantee to the LTA a good part of the expected revenue. In 2003 there was a Sars epidemic that had repercussions also in Great Britain: this is the reason for the happy choice of AELTC to make an insurance.

Richard Lewis' words on Wimbledon and British tennis

Richard Lewis, CEO of Wimbledon, said: “There will be no heavy impact on British tennis. This insurance was designed precisely for a possible cancellation. We are in a good position.

The tournament is very solid from a financial point of view. British tennis is well protected. ” However, the insurance cannot cover another unplayed edition. At the All England Club, they know that the Wimbledon tournament will have to be played next year if they don't want to lose the revenue from it.

Lewis then said: "Shortly after receiving the prize, you cannot get it back." Considering that a vaccine will hardly be developed and spread by the first half of 2021, this means that Wimbledon will also have to live with the virus, adopting the necessary safety measures.

For this reason, the organizers will look closely at the US Open and Roland Garros next autumn. Sally Bolton, who will succeed Lewis at the board of Wimbledon, said: "We will analyze what they will do, how they will be able to cope with all the difficulties of the case and we will learn from their experience." A guarantee, but only for 2020.