Federer 'devastated' as Wimbledon canceled due to coronavirus

LONDON: former champion Roger Federer he said he was devastated that Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus .

Wimbledon chiefs pulled the plug on the oldest Grand Slam tournament on Wednesday in response to the continued chaos caused by the pandemic.

Federer, who has won a record eight Wimbledon men's singles titles, reacted with a single word, tweeting: devastated.

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Federer and Serena will be almost 40 years old by the time of the 2021 championship.

Wimbledon was due to run for two weeks from June 29, with Novak Djokovic & Simona halep established to defend their individual titles.

But all the heads of the Club of England had no choice but to cancel the event on the grass court, which was first organized in 1877, due to the continuing health crisis worldwide.

Halep, the Romanian who defeated Serena to win Wimbledon for the first time last year, tweeted: So sad to hear Wimbledon won't take place this year.

"Last year's final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis & Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title."

American legend Billie-Jean King , a six-time singles champion at Wimbledon, said the cancellation was the right decision.

"I fully understand & support the decision of the committee & it is vital we keep our focus on those most impacted by this pandemic. I have been fortunate to go to Wimbledon every year since 1961 & I am certainly going to miss it this year," she said.

"Right now, we need to make sure we are taking good care of ourselves & our loved ones. These are challenging times for all of us & now is the time for us to do what is right for our world & what works for our sport."

Twice champion Petra Kvitova summed up the prevailing sentiment among players as she said it would be hard to go a year without visiting Wimbledon.

Definitely a tough one to take, with the announcement of the cancellation of Wimbledon this year, she said.

It is not only a special tournament for me, but it is a tournament that has been part of history for so long that it will leave a big gap in the calendar.

"I will miss playing on the beautiful grass & wearing my whites, BUT of course we know it will be back better than ever next year. And maybe we will all appreciate it even more! Stay safe & stay inside."

Coco Gauff, the teenager who dazzled with her surprise run to the last 16 year, tweeted: I'm gonna miss playing in Wimbledon this year. Stay safe everyone, love you guys.

Kevin Anderson, beaten by Djokovic in the 2018 final, tweeted: I've always had so many great memories at Wimbledon.

"The grass season will definitely be missed but the most important thing right now for us to focus on is that we're all staying healthy & safe at home."