The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells will not take place due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, organisers have said.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Kim Clijsters were among the players expected to take part in the tournament which was due to start in California on Monday.
A statement from the organisers said: “The 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.”
Indian Wells is the first Premier Mandatory event of the WTA season and is a Masters 1000 event on the men’s tour. Tommy Haas, the tournament director, said: “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance. We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, said: “There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size. It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
Nadal wrote on Twitter: “You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled. We are here and still deciding what’s next. So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe.”