Coronavirus forces cancellation of Indian Wells

In the world of men's tennis, who will reign supreme? Is it the Big 3 of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer? Or the young guns: Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Thiem?

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 2:11 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 2:11 PM

The declaration of a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley in California due to the coronavirus outbreak has prompted the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open international tennis tournament in Indian Wells.

After a case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the valley -- the desert east of Los Angeles -- the organizers made the decision to cancel the tournament, a statement announced.

"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," said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, on Sunday.

"It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak."

The decision to cancel the event came after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of California.

Outside of the four grand slams, Indian Wells is of one of the tennis season's most prestigious events.

Dubbed the "fifth grand slam," the tournament -- which is located 130 miles to the east of Los Angeles -- draws some of the largest crowds for a tennis event in North America. The tournament offers equal prize money for men and women, with a total prize pot of just over $17 million ($8,542,680 per Tour).

Many of the world's leading players, including men's world No.2 Rafael Nadal, had already arrived in California for the event where qualifying was set to start on Monday, with main draw matches scheduled for Wednesday.

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

Any ticket holder can request a refund or credit for the 2021 tournament.

Steve Simon, Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chairman and CEO, stressed the focus is firmly on "protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers and fans who attend our events."

"The WTA empathizes with those affected by the coronavirus in this region and around the world," he said in a statement.

"We are disappointed our fans will not be able to come out and watch the event, and our players are also disappointed to not compete over the next two weeks, along with the sponsors who support the event. However, we understand the decision which has been made in the interest of public health and safety which is the top priority at this time.

"It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."

Nadal, 33, reacted to the news on Twitter, calling the spread of the coronavirus "sad," while Romanian player Sorana Cirstea criticized the WTA, saying that she only found out the news on Twitter.

READ: Chaos and confusion as Italian sports minister calls for Serie A suspension amid coronavirus outbreak

A worsening situation

On Friday, competition organizers had announced preventive measures to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the expectation Indian Wells would go ahead.

Ball boys and girls were set to wear gloves on court, as well as restaurant, food supply workers, and volunteers at entrances.

Although typically it is a ball kid's job to look after players' towels, they would have not been required to touch towels. Players would have managed their own towels on court, placing their towels on a chair at the back of the court during play.

More than 250 hand-sanitizing stations had been installed around the complex, and fan and player interaction was expected to be limited.

A combined men's and women's tournament is scheduled for Miami later this month, but there was has been no word on any changes to that event.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

Following Miami, the men's and women's tours head to Europe for the beginning of the clay court season which includes, among others, an ATP and WTA event in Rome, Italy, the status of which is still to be determined.

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 108,000 globally and killed more than 3,800, according to CNN's tally.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56183

Reported Deaths: 2907
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10023420
Cuyahoga7571372
Hamilton5770197
Marion273038
Lucas2700302
Pickaway218841
Summit2110206
Montgomery193126
Mahoning1818231
Butler154744
Columbiana129560
Stark1091112
Lorain99767
Trumbull92565
Warren82321
Clark7659
Delaware55315
Belmont54422
Fairfield54316
Tuscarawas54110
Medina50832
Lake49218
Licking46612
Miami45531
Portage43258
Ashtabula43144
Wood41251
Geauga40042
Clermont3946
Wayne36051
Richland3325
Allen30840
Mercer2808
Greene2489
Darke24625
Erie23622
Holmes2263
Huron2112
Madison1938
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Washington13120
Putnam12715
Sandusky12714
Hardin12012
Ross1183
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton942
Monroe8817
Jefferson872
Union821
Muskingum811
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Williams692
Clinton680
Guernsey683
Lawrence680
Shelby654
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot586
Brown561
Defiance503
Athens491
Knox481
Fayette460
Highland441
Champaign391
Scioto380
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Perry321
Henry290
Adams231
Paulding230
Pike230
Jackson220
Vinton222
Gallia161
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
67° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 64°
More Heat & Humidity Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events