Richard Lewis, the chief executive of Wimbledon, hopes tennis can be “off and running again” by August, when the US Open is expected to begin but he admits that there may be “no more tennis this year.”
Lewis spoke the day after the All England Club cancelled the championships for the first time since World War II. He acknowledged that uncertainty is surrounding tennis because of the continued spread of COVID-19.
“Who knows what will happen over that period?” Lewis said. “It’s a challenge for everybody. Let’s hope the US Open and Roland Garros [rescheduled to start a week after the conclusion of the US Open] can take place. It would be genuinely wonderful if the sport was off and running again.
The optimist in me – and I am often not optimistic – still hopes the American hard-court season, the big tournaments, the Masters and the Premiers, will take place: Montreal, Toronto and then Cincinnati. But we all know that’s probably tenuous at the moment.
I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that there may be no more tennis this year. But I would like to think that things will settle down so that tournaments can be played sooner rather than later.”
Lewis will leave his position at the end of July after running Wimbledon for eight years. He will make way for Sally Bolton. Lewis is hopeful that former champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams, who have 15 Wimbledon titles between them, can play in event in 2021.