South African tennis player Lloyd Harris was left disappointed that Wimbledon has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but conceded health and safety were the priority.
The tournament was due to begin on June 29, but now won’t take place until next year, organisers said in a statement on Wednesday.
The 134th Championships will instead be staged from June 28 to July 11 next year.
“It’s very sad news that Wimbledon is cancelled as well as the whole grass court season building up to that and the clay-court season as well prior to that,” said Harris.
“But it is out of our control at this point and we must look at the bigger picture. It is important for us as the world to stay safe, stay healthy and stay at home,” said Harris.
“This is not just your normal crisis, but it is something very serious. I just urge everyone to stay safe and be at home with your families and friends.”
The 22-year-old Capetonian took on his idol Roger Federer, the eight-time Wimbledon champion on centre court at the All England Tennis Club last year in the opening round.
“Obviously Wimbledon is a very special tournament. I had some fun memories there last year playing Roger (Federer) on centre court and it was very special for me. Something I got to share with lots of people.
Harris also expressed how much he would miss competing at the “special” tournament.
“It (Wimbledon) will be dearly missed by me, the fans and all the other players including other tournaments that have been cancelled.
“But you know, as soon as this all clears up, we will be back to entertain, and all the fans can follow their favourite players. I am just looking forward to working hard during this time and to be getting back on the court soon.”
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo