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Wimbledon could run in 2021 without fans

The 2021 edition of Wimbledon could be held without fans depending on the development of the global coronavirus pandemic, the organising All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said Friday.

In statement which said “multiple operational scenarios” are being considered “given that there are still many months” until next year’s grass court tennis grand slam, the AELTC said a behind closed doors tournament could be necessary.

Other options include a full capacity championships as normal or reducing the attendees.

“Our overriding priority will continue to be the health and safety of all of our stakeholders, in particular our guests, our staff, and our competitors,” the AELTC said.

Wimbledon is planned for June 28-July 11, 2021.

The Championships were the only one of the four tennis majors not to take place in 2020 – with Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since World War II.

The Australian Open ran normally at the start of the year while the French Open was postponed to after the US Open and concluded this month.

The events in both New York and Paris were carried out under strict hygiene rules.

Next year’s grand slam season should start with the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Tournament boss Craig Tiley earlier this week said a relaxation of quarantine rules is needed for the January event to go ahead but was “absolutely” confident the event would proceed.

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