LONDON (AP) — Wimbledon will be allowed to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals next month, a year after the tournament was canceled entirely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the British government said Monday.
The grass-court Grand Slam tournament, which begins June 28, can have 50% capacity at the start and that will increase to 100% by the close on July 10-11 with the women’s and men’s singles title matches.
The government’s decision to ease COVID-19 restrictions on crowds will also allow for increased attendances at soccer’s European Championship and other sporting events.
“We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement. “In the next few weeks this means more fans enjoying the Euros and Wimbledon, and some of our biggest cultural and sports events.”
Wimbledon’s cancellation in 2020 was the first time since World War II that the tournament hadn’t been played.
In other tennis news, French Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas said Monday his grandmother died just before he played the final at Roland Garros against Novak Djokovic.
Tsitsipas posted on social media that his “very beloved grandmother lost her battle with life” five minutes before he entered the court Sunday for his first Grand Slam title match.
He thanked her for raising his father and called her a “wise woman whose faith in life, and willingness to give and provide can’t be compared to any other human being that I have ever met.”
Tsitsipas continued: “It’s important to have more people like her in this world. Because people like her make you come alive. They make you dream.”
The 22-year-old from Greece lost to Djokovic 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Tsitsipas had been scheduled to play singles and doubles at a grass-court event in Halle, Germany, this week, but the tournament announced Monday he had withdrawn because of “personal reasons.”
Djokovic won his 19th Grand Slam title in Paris, France, moving within one of rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s record.
After his win over Tsitsipas, he said he didn’t consider it “a mission impossible” to bring his trophy collection in line with the other members of the Big Three.
“I’ll keep on going. I’ll keep on chasing,” Djokovic said about the Slam win totals.
enchmark of 14 established by Pete Sampras.