Many might have thought that it was an April Fool's Joke when on the Wimbledon website it stated about the cancellation: "It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC)...have decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to...the coronavirus epidemic."
Serena Williams, a finalist last year upon hearing of the news could only say "I'm Shooked. Devastated." Roger Federer the men's finalist in 2019 commented: "I can't wait to come back next year. It only makes us appreciate our sport even more..."
Everyone had to cancel plans throwing their emotional and financial situations into a frenzy. This was the first time Wimbledon wouldn't be held since World War II, but other threats and scares were in the making almost 20 years ago.
The SARS respiratory virus made a huge impact on countries especially the UK in 2003 when there were reported 8 cases in May. The spread of the virus didn't scar Wimbledon then with the Championships able to start and finish.
After the event went off without a hitch, the Board took out a $2 million dollar policy on pandemic insurance. It was every year after that they'd invest in the insurance in case an epidemic would arise, which never did until this year.
Wimbledon was forced to cancel the Championships to have taken place June 29-July 12. They had received nearly $140 million from the policy to distribute as seeing fit with assurance of not being destroyed financially from this virus outbreak.
Will the All England Club invest another $2 million next year? Most likely and perhaps more. But the other Slams will have to decide if it is beneficial for them to do the same even if another pandemic never happens. The Tennis Channel Live team discussed the savvy actions of the All England Club.
"Some incredible foresight by the All England Club. They have saved themselves millions of dollars," Steve Weissman ahd remarked. It is the ability of thinking ahead and being covered. But Wimbledon's involvement with the SARS epidemic gave them the need to cover themselves if a health situation would return and it did but nearly 20 years later.
"Props to Wimbledon, way to think ahead and way to be smarter than anyone else," former ATP player and new member of Tennis Channel Live, Andy Roddick had commented. Could any of the other grand slams organizations been sharper with insight to not take a huge hit financially? This virus had gotten most of us in 'left field' and fast, being unprepared in most aspects.
The United States as well as most countries are in economic chaos now, too late on taking out insurance policies. The Australian Open had substantial bushfires but not much was mentioned about insurance despite the Melbourne event was able to go on and remarkably finish.
The French Open schedule was postponed and changed to a week after the U.S. Open (Sept. 20-Oct. 4th). The last slam of the season, the Open is riding on shaky grounds as it's slated for August 24-September 13th. It all depends on the result of the virus.
It was mentioned that the Open would relocate to the Indian Wells Stadium in California. Whatever the stream of the outbreak ending, other Slams should decide to take out the similar insurance to gain more economic stability even if other turmoils may never happen again.