Indian Wells Masters 2020 Organisers Announce the Worst News of the Year

Published 03/09/2020, 12:53 AM EDT


The Indian Wells Masters 2020 will not take place this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the organizers announced on Sunday. This makes the Indian Wells Masters one of the highest-profile sporting events to get cancelled due to the coronavirus with other big events in doubt.

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A coronavirus (COVID-19) case was detected locally, which led to a public health emergency in the area. Subsequently, the organizers made the decision after following the guidance of medical professionals in an effort to keep players, officials and attendees safe.

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“We are very disappointed”: Indian Wells Masters 2020 director

The decision to cancel the event came quickly after the emergency was declared. Eventually, the verdict came to a surprise to players, who were already in Indian Wells preparing for the event. Many players found out through social media on Sunday when the tournament announced the decision.

The BNP Paribas Open is one of the most popular events for the men and women on the tennis calendar. It is the first Masters 1000 event and first Premier Mandatory event of the season. Furthermore, it is also considered as the fifth “major” tournament.

“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place,” Tournament Director Tommy Haas said in a statement. “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,” he added.

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Has the BNP Paribas Open cancelled before?

The tournament has been held in the desert every year since 1976. Hence, this is the first year that the tournament will not take place.

The number of infected people has increased in Riverside County. Subsequently, the tournament became the first of several events in Southern California to be impacted by concerns of coronavirus. Its cancellation comes days after the organizers detailed new preventative measures they were taking due to coronavirus concerns.

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The chief executive of the WTA Tour, Steve Simon revealed that the officials had considered playing the tournament without spectators. However, they were forced to ultimately reject that option.

“We were supportive of the concept,” Simon said. “But ultimately the tournament didn’t feel it was in their best interest.”

It will be interesting to see which tournaments will follow Indian Wells and gets cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Varun Khanna

1334 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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