Women's Sport: Wimbledon organisers face pressure to postpone but Konta is "hopeful"

Johanna Konta says she is “hopeful” that Wimbledon will be able to go ahead as planned on 29 June, despite calls for the competition to be postponed.

Writing in a blog for The Telegraph, the British Number One said that uncertainty over the length of time tennis will be affected by the spread of coronavirus meant it was still possible to hold out hope that Wimbledon could go ahead.

“More than anything it’s important to be hopeful. There is nothing wrong with being hopeful. Equally, for me right now it’s about not looking too far ahead.

“We don’t know how it’s going to develop. Now we know we are not playing until the beginning of June. That’s the date we are working towards. When that changes, if it changes, we’ll react to whatever comes next.”

The tennis season has been suspended for the moment until 9 June, when the grass-court season begins. The French Open at Roland Garros has already been moved from 18 May to 20 September in light of fears surrounding coronavirus.

The International Olympic Committee was forced into a historic postponement of the Tokyo Olympic scheduled for this July and now Wimbledon organisers are facing mounting pressure to follow suit.

But, The All England Lawn Tennis Club say they are closely monitoring the “constantly evolving situation” and continue to “monitor and respond to developments on an active basis, working closely with the government and relevant health authorities”.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Konta has been forced to suspend her training and rehab for her knee injury as the UK faces stronger lockdown rules. She says that despite not having access to her trainer and physio she is “not getting too stressed over it”.

“But I do have some equipment at home so I am trying to make the best of the situation.

“As for hitting balls, for the past few days, athletes still had access to our respective training grounds, as long as the necessary precautions were observed. But the goalposts are moving all the time.”

In the midst of a nationwide lockdown, Wimbledon organisers are facing more pressure to come to a decision about the tournament. With athletes and fans waiting for a decision it seems that the initial date of mid-April for a decision will come round quicker than anticipated.

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