WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Wimbledon is, of course, known for its carefully groomed grass courts — or, more properly, lawns.
The surface is one of the most distinct aspects of the All England Club’s Grand Slam tournament, which first was played in the 1870s.
Not this year, though: Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic. No sanctioned tennis is scheduled anywhere until August.
So leave it to Associated Press photos from the past to offer a glimpse of what makes the place unique.
The green grass and purple flowers. The mandatory all-white outfits. The umbrellas to offer a shield from showers or provide shade from the sun. The strawberries and cream.
The well-known fans perched in the front row of the Royal Box.
Also absent: The exuberance of a Coco Gauff or the trick shots of a Nick Kyrgios. The big serving of a Pete Sampras. The diving volleys of a Boris Becker. The 70-68 of a John Isner.
And the thousands of spectators — who won’t be seen at the closed-door U.S. Open, either, even if it is played as planned in New York starting on Aug. 31 — packing walkways or crowding for picnic space on what used to be known as Henman Hill and now is called Murray Mount, roaring along with the action shown on a video screen.
Wimbledon is silent for this fortnight.
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