Indians Wells amongst first sporting event cancelled for Coronavirus
The year 2020 started off with some uncertainty that will the Australian Open take place amid the bushfire scenario in the Australian continent? Despite hazardous conditions and resistance from players, the qualifier tournament began on time and the first Grand Slam of the year took place without any further drama with Novak Djokovic emerged as the winner.
The events in the month of February included 04 ATP 500 and 08 ATP 250 events, and all tournaments started and finished with no hinderance. However, since the beginning of March, the number affected persons from the Coronavirus, which outbroke first in the late last year, had started to rise.
In the wake of this virus and the confirmed case of coronavirus in the region, The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley which is turn has resulted in the postponement of the first Masters 1000 of the year, which also became the first tennis tournament to be affected by the virus, which is for the safety of the participants and audience. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.
“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. “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.”
“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 Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
What This Means for Future ATP and WtA Tennis Tournaments
This means that the next coming Masters 1000 tournament, Miami Open will also be cancelled, where two cases have already been registered. This put doubt to the coming tournaments, especially in the Europe region which includes Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. As of now the entire Clay Court Season has been cancelled. This is a big bummer for players like Nadal and Thiem who thrive on Clay. However it does help players like Federer who is Injured at the time being. As being the Olympiad year, tennis at the Tokyo Olympics also not confirmed.
However, ATP Chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi has stressed that the rest of the ATP Tour will proceed. He said: "While we regret that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will not take place, the ATP Tour calendar beyond Indian Wells remains as status quo. We continue to monitor the situation daily, working closely with our player and tournament members with the understanding that direction must be taken from local public health authorities. We are committed to exploring all options for the operation of upcoming tournaments as the health and safety of our players and all other stakeholders remain our top priority. Any further updates will be communicated on ATP platforms."