With the coronavirus pandemic accelerating in the USA, the 2021 edition of the Indian Wells Masters, one of the biggest events in the tennis calendar outside the Grand Slams, has been postponed.
The tournament is proactively working with the ATP and WTA Tours as well as title sponsor BNP Paribas to confirm dates later in the year to hold the event. Details will be released in the near future as plans are finalised. Indian Wells Statement
The BNP Paribas Open is a combined event, classified as Masters 1000 event on the ATP Tour and a WTA 1000 tournament on the women’s schedule..
It was due to be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California from 8-21 March but has now been delayed.
In a statement organisers said: “The BNP Paribas Open will not be held March 8-21, 2021 as originally scheduled.
“The tournament is proactively working with the ATP and WTA Tours as well as title sponsor BNP Paribas to confirm dates later in the year to hold the event.
“Details will be released in the near future as plans are finalised.
“This decision was made after thorough consultation with state and local health authorities and tournament owner Larry Ellison.”
The Indian Wells tournament was the first major tournament to be cancelled at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, and there had been doubts over whether it could be staged in its traditional March slot for some time.
The postponement of the 2021 edition is the latest amendment to the new season’s calendar, which continues to be affected by the global pandemic.
This year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, has already been pushed back by three weeks because of the pandemic and is now due to take place from 8-21 February at Melbourne Park, with players and support staff having to arrive in Australia on 15 January to serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
The men’s and women’s qualifying tournaments for the Grand Slam are scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates respectively, between 10-13 January.
While the postponement of Indian Wells has left tennis fans disappointed, organisers are hopeful of staging the event at some point in 2021.
With Covid-19 cases soaring in California, there are suggestions that USTA officials and the ATP and WTA Tours will look to include Indian Wells as part of the build-up to next year’s US Open.
This would see an extended build-up to what is traditionally the final Grand Slam of the year, although a one-week Indian Wells event is more likely that the 96-player draw that is familiar for this event.
Assuming this year’s event takes place, the defending champions will be Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the men’s event and Canada’s Bianca Andreescu in the women’s competition.