09 March 2020

Coronavirus update: Indian Wells tennis tournament cancelled

Organisers of the Indian Wells tournament have confirmed that the event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The tournament was due to begin this week in California and the decision to cancel the event was made after one case of coronavirus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley area. 

Tournament director Tommy Haas said: "We are prepared to hold it on another date and will explore options.

"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."

Qualifying was set to start today, with the main matches starting on Wednesday. The tournament draws more than 400,000 fans each year, but health officials in California said there was "too great a risk" to continue.

It is a combined ATP and WTA event and is classed as one of the biggest and most prestigious outside from the Grand Slam tournaments. 

British No. 2 Heather Watson shared her reaction on Twitter and wrote: "Really!?"

Over the weekend it was announced that governing bodies had told WTA players that they should not give towels or sweatbands to fans. 

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