Rafael Nadal makes public plea after coronavirus shuts down Indian Wells tournament

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Rafael Nadal expressed his sadness after Indian Wells was cancelled this morning after a case of coronavirus was confirmed locally. The California-based event is one of the most lucrative tournaments on the calendar but organisers will not search for another date to host the competition this year.

It is unlikely there will be a free period throughout the year to reschedule the tournament so the tournament has been cancelled. 

World No 2 Nadal was one of the favourites to win the Masters 1000 event but he understands the bold decision made by organisers.

The Riverside County Public Health department has declared a public health emergency in the Coachella Valley area after a confirmed case of coronavirus.

And Nadal has pleaded with the public to remain safe.

“You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled,” Nadal wrote on Twitter.

“We are here and still deciding what’s next. So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation.

“Hopefully soon solutions from the authorities. Stay well and safe.”

Ahead of Indian Wells Nadal had expressed concerns about how the deadly disease would affect the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

“I hope it is controlled, that a remedy is found and this uncertainty is stopped, this psychosis, this fear,” he explained.

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“It is the most important thing, not only for the Olympic Games, but for humanity.

“The Olympic Games is one of the most special events in the world.

“It is a unique experience to be there and I consider it the most difficult tournament to win because you only have two or three chances in your career.”

Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, believed the call to stop tens of thousands of spectators defending on Indian Wells was a good one.

“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,” he said.

“It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighbouring areas for this tournament to proceed.

“We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

But world No 13 Diego Schwartzman fumed at Indian Wells organisers for the way he found out about the cancellation.

“It would be nice @atptour if you communicated a little better to the players of a suspension of such a tournament when we are all here,” the Argentine tweeted,

“Knowing by social networks or whats app is quite loose.”

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