Wimbledon organizers have scheduled a "emergency meeting" for next week to determine if the major tennis championship will go on as scheduled this summer.
The coronavirus pandemic is prompting the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club to consider its options for the grass-court tournament, slated for June 29-July 12.
"The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak," the club said in a statement.
"At this time, based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty. Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out."
AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis added, "The unprecedented challenge presented by the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.
"The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.
"We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made."
The Guardian newspaper in England reported that it is "highly unlikely" that Wimbledon would move its event to the slot vacated by the now-postponed Summer Olympics. Men's and women's tennis were due to be played July 25-Aug. 2 in Tokyo.
The ATP and WTA tours were first affected by the coronavirus outbreak when the BNP Paribas Open, scheduled for March 11-22 in Indian Wells, Calif., was canceled March 8.
Both tours have since canceled play through June 7. The French Open, slated to begin on May 24, is now due to be held Sept. 20-Oct. 4 in Paris.
The U.S. Tennis Association announced last week that it is assessing its options regarding the U.S. Open, scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 13 in New York. The USTA acknowledged considering "the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date."
--Field Level Media