Saturday, August 1, 2020

Wimbledon 2020 was cancelled ~ yet Club makes pay-outs !!


Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar were the defending champions, but Peya could not participate this year due to injury. Melichar played alongside Bruno Soares but lost in the quarterfinals to Yang Zhaoxuan and Matwé Middelkoop. Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan won the title, defeating Robert Lindstedt and Jeļena Ostapenko in the final, 6–2, 6–3.  This was the first Wimbledon to feature a final set tie-break.

The 2019 Wimbledon Championships took place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom, beginning on 1st July and finishing on 14th July 2019.  The defending Gentlemen's singles champion Novak Djokovic retained his title, while the defending Ladies' singles champion Angelique Kerber lost in the second round to Lauren Davis. Simona Halep won the Ladies' Singles title. This was the first Grand Slam tournament where both singles titles were won by players born in the Balkans.

This was the first edition of the tournament to feature a standard tie break in the final set when the score in the set was 12 games all. The winner was the first player or pair to reach seven points whilst leading by two or more points or, in the case of a 6-6 point score, to establish a subsequent lead of two points. Henri Kontinen and John Peers won the first such tie break played in Wimbledon history, defeating Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in a third-round men's doubles match. In men's singles, the only such match was the final in which Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer, in what was also the longest final in tournament history lasting for 4 hours and 58 minutes. Djokovic became the first man since Bob Falkenburg at the 1948 Wimbledon Championships to win the title after being championship points down, having saved two when down 7–8 in the fifth set. This tournament also marked the retirement of former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, after he lost in the second round.

In the Women's Singles, there were 16 qualifiers from 128 entrants, an increase from 12 qualifiers from 96 entrants.  The change brought  the qualification for the Women's Singles into line with that for the Men's Singles, which remains unchanged.  Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams in the final, 6–2, 6–2 to win the Ladies' Singles tennis title at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. It took just 56 minutes for Halep to secure victory.  In the entire tournament, she dropped only one set against compatriot Mihaela Buzărnescu. Williams was attempting to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles for the third time. At 37 years and 291 days, Williams became the oldest Grand Slam women's singles finalist to compete since the start of the Open Era in 1968. 15-year old Coco Gauff became the youngest player to win a main draw singles match at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati in 1991, defeating the oldest player in the main draw, Venus Williams at 39 in the first round.


All that a thing of the past for – it is July and this year (2020) there is no Wimbledon.  It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships decided that the Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic. The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.  The committee stated that uppermost in mind was the  health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

                     Following a series of detailed deliberations,  the Committee of Management’s viewed that the cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health – but read the following interesting announcements too.

Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021.
In addition, we have taken account of the impact that this decision will have on those who rely on The Championships – including the players and the tennis community in Britain and around the world – and we are developing plans to support those groups, working in partnership with the LTA and the other leadership bodies in global tennis. This also applies to our loyal staff, to whom we take our responsibility very seriously.

Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, commented: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen. It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond. Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”

The all significant news is Wimbledon gives out £10m in prize money... for a tournament that isn't happening! Players are handed up to £25,000 each after SW19 chiefs' pay-out from pandemic insurance.  Wimbledon may not have happened this year, but the players will still reap the dividend of the tournament's foresight in maintaining its pandemic insurance. The All England Club have marked what would have been men's semi-finals day by unveiling a £10 million fund for players who have missed out on earning anything for months. A total of 620 competitors will share the surprise bounty with a financial lifeline being handed to those who would have played in the qualifying event.

                 Those who would have played in the singles main draws will be given £25,000 each, which is small change to the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Their peers lower down the food chain will, however, hugely benefit from the tournament's unexpected largesse, which sees £12,500 to those who would have made qualifying event on ranking, and £6,250 to doubles players. This is in addition to a host of donations to Coronavirus charities well in excess of £1 million. There is also some unspecified money going to umpires and line judges who would otherwise have been employed this past fortnight.

While the pandemic insurance is still a long way off being fully processed, it is expected to have saved Wimbledon more than £100 million by the time it is fully totted up. The enabling of such generous measures are a reminder that, while it can sometimes be easy to caricature Wimbledon, plain old school competence should never go out of fashion.

Chief Executive Richard Lewis said, 'We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking.  'We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players.'

Interesting ! ~ a Wimbledon not happening yet payouts are !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13.7.2020.


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