One of the biggest events of the tennis calendar, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, has been cancelled due to a local outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Coachella Valley.
The decision was made following advice from the Riverside County Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the California state government.
“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,” said Tommy Haas, former World No.2 and now the director of the Californian tournament.
British tennis players, many of whom are already in situ for the competition, were understandably very disappointed, with Heather Watson taking to Twitter to post the following poll…
Indian Wells Tennis tourmament CANCELLED due to a single confirmed case of the Corona Virus in the local area. What are your thoughts?— Heather Watson (@HeatherWatson92) March 9, 2020
…and Jo Konta replying to another Watson tweet with a tearful emoji.
Really… 😭 https://t.co/rEbMIBDGGD— Johanna Konta (@JohannaKonta) March 9, 2020
Meanwhile, Jamie Murray wondered how the illness would affect other forthcoming tournaments, including the big one in SW19…
Doesn’t bode well for the tour if IW cancelled for 1 confirmed case in Coachella Valley. Broward county (Miami Open home) has more confirmed cases. Monte Carlo borders northern Italy currently in lockdown. Rome Masters? French Open? Wimbledon?!!!— Jamie Murray (@jamie_murray) March 9, 2020
Obviously, Tennis Talent is also gutted about the news – the 2020 edition of the contest was shaping up to be a classic, with plenty of British talent on show.
Was it the right decision? That’s too early to say. What we can say for certain is that it was an understandable decision.
If you think you might have coronavirus or are unsure about what it is, follow the NHS advice here.