Indian Wells Masters cancelled but could be rescheduled due to coronavirus spread
The spread of coronavirus has led to the cancellation of the Indian Wells Masters tournament due to start this week
Indian Wells Masters has become the latest sporting event to succumb to the spread of coronavirus.
The tennis tournament was due to start on Wednesday but organisers have moved to cancel the competition following the advice of local health officials.
A coronavirus case had been recorded in the Coachella Valley region of California where the tournament was due to take place.
In an official statement by tournament organisers, Dr 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.”
In slightly brighter news for tennis fans, the tournament may be played later in the calendar, but that may require significant reshuffling due to the packed nature of the ATP and WTA tours in 2020.
Tournament Director Tommy Haas added: “We are prepared to hold the tournament 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.
The Miami Open is next up on the ATP schedule though it remains to be seen whether that tournament will go ahead as scheduled.