UNDATED (AP) — Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The All England Club announced Wednesday after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis will not be held in 2020.
Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. It now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes the Tokyo Olympics, the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments and the European soccer championship. The last time Wimbledon was called off was 1945.
— Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13-14. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement in a memorandum sent to MLB employees on Wednesday. MLB said March 19 that it had scrapped series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Opening day was to have been March 26, and MLB has delayed the start of its season until mid-May at the earliest.
— NFL teams are having to adjust to a new normal as they prepare for the NFL draft in three weeks without being able to visit prospects for in-person evaluations and interviews. The league is responding to the global coronavirus pandemic by forbidding teams from hosting prospects or traveling to interview them as they normally do. The pandemic also scuttled many college pro timing days that prospects were hoping to use to make impressions on NFL scouts. The Broncos say teams will have to rely on game film more than ever. The NFL still plans to open the season as scheduled on Sept. 10.
— The NHL has extended its self-quarantine recommendation for players and staff to April 15. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the extension in an email to The Associated Press. The league had previously sent out a memo recommending self-quarantining until April 4. So far, four NHL players have tested positive for COVID-19. The league and teams are hoping to get players together to skate in small groups once the isolation period is over. State, provincial and local lockdown regulations across the U.S. and Canada could push back the opening of team facilities.
— Prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has temporarily halted Tommy John operations at his Florida medical center in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Some have questioned whether a reconstructive elbow surgery for a ballplayer is an essential procedure. Stars Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard and Luis Severino are among the pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery since spring training started, performed by different doctors.
— The Olympic flame will be on display until the end of April in Japan’s northeastern region of Fukushima. The public will have limited access to view the flame. Organizers hope to limit the crowd size because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus. The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 20 and the torch relay was to have started last week. The Fukushima region was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors. Olympic officials have postponed the Tokyo Games until next year with the opening now set for July 23, 2021.
— A German soccer club is raising funds amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling tickets for a fictional game. The third-division club (Uerdingen) hopes to virtually sell out its 34,500-capacity Grotenburg Stadium in Krefeld with the offer of souvenir tickets for fans. Tickets start at 5 euros ($5.46) and go all the way to 19.05 euros ($20.80) for VIP tickets. The club says “panic buying for friends and family is definitely allowed.” The club, which was one of the powerhouses of German soccer in the 1980s, hasn’t played a game since March 8 because of the virus outbreak.
— Being stuck at home didn’t stop a British man from running an outdoor marathon. James Campbell spent his 32nd birthday doing 6-meter shuttles from one end of his small backyard to the other after promising to run a marathon if a Twitter message he sent last week received 10,000 retweets. Campbell completed the marathon in just over five hours and raised more than $22,000 for Britain’s National Health Service in its effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic. His effort was live-streamed and neighbors poked their heads over the backyard fence to give Campbell encouragement.
Unranked British tennis player suspended, fined for gambling
LONDON (AP) — A 24-year-old unranked British tennis player was suspended Wednesday for at least three months and fined at least $500 for betting on six matches involving other players.
The Tennis Integrity Unit said if Patrick Keane commits another breach of its rules, he will wind up with a six-month ban and $5,000 fine.
Keane’s discipline was reduced based on his cooperation, admission and the fact that none of his wagers were on his own matches. He is not allowed to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis event until June 29.
Former Syracuse football coach Frank Maloney dead at 79
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Former Syracuse University head football coach Frank Maloney has died. He was 79.
Maloney played center and guard at Michigan from 1959-61 and served as an assistant coach at his alma mater before being hired at Syracuse to succeed Hall of Famer Ben Schwartzwalder.
Maloney inherited a team that had finished 2-9 in Schwartzwalder’s final season and guided the Orange for seven seasons. His teams went 32-46 from 1974-80. He resigned after the 1980 season and served 27 years as director of ticket operations for the Chicago Cubs until retiring in 2010.