Monday, March 9, 2020

BNP Paribas Open called off because of coronavirus

Dominic Thiem hoists the trophy after defeating Roger Federer in last year's
BNP Paribas Open. Also shown are Ted Mertens (far left), then the mayor of
Indian Wells, Calif.; Jean-Yves Fillion (second from left), the CEO of BNP
Paribas USA; and tournament director Tommy Haas (behind Thiem). Photo
by Mal Taam 
   The BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," was called off on Sunday night because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Officials canceled or indefinitely postponed the tournament, scheduled for today through March 22 in Indian Wells, Calif., after a confirmed case of coronavirus led Riverside County to declare a public health emergency.
   "There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering," said Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at USC. "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."
   Many elderly people, the most vulnerable group, live in the Palm Springs area, where the tournament is located, because of its warm winters.
   Tournament director Tommy Haas said he and his staff are exploring alternative dates this year.
   Patrons who have purchased tickets directly from the BNP Paribas Open may request a refund or a credit for the 2021 tournament at bnpparibasopen.com/coronavirus.

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