Joaquin Heredia, Sports, The Pawprint
The most prestigious tournament in tennis came out Tuesday, April 27th with some updates on this year’s Championships.
First of all, spectators will be limited to at least 25% capacity. Wimbledon has expressed that its been working closely with the UK Government to ensure a safe and responsible tournament is held, and Wimbledon CEO has stated “We very much hope 25 per cent is a minimum position from which we can build — it is our absolute desire to enable as many people as possible to safely attend The Championships this year”.
Social distancing and masks are a no brainer, meaning the famous Wimbledon queue, where people camp outside the Wimbledon gates in hopes of getting good tickets, will not be a part of this year’s tournament, and Instead tickets will be sold online exclusively.
In order to protect the players from the virus, there will be official hotels for the player, along with their teams. The players will be quarantined to these hotels when not playing tennis, and no outsiders will be allowed into the hotel. This system was used in the Australian Open at the start of the year to great success, allowing the tournament to be played with no players testing positive for the virus.
Doubles matches will be canceled, in hopes of lowering the chance of infection among players and fans.
Manic Monday, the 8th day of the Championships where the best of the best are scheduled to play on the same day, will also be terminated, and in its replacement matches will be held on the Sunday prior, rather than give the players a day of rest.
All this comes at a bad time for 8 time champion Roger Federer, as many speculate this could be the 39 year old’s last ever Wimbledon. The unfamiliar circumstances may phase the Swiss, in his efforts to make one last deep run in his favorite tournament.
Wimbledon is now only 41 days away, but for now players must focus on the present, as Roland Garros is only a week away. A win at a grand slam can cause a tremendous boost in a player’s career, but there still lies the challenge of facing 13 time French Open Champion, Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard is at the top of his game, having just won the Rome Masters last week, despite not playing his best. Will the King of Clay finally be stripped of his title, or will he claim his 14th French Open?