When news broke Sunday night that the 2020 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, was called off after a case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley, the natural question among tennis players and fans was: What about the Miami Open?
As of Monday afternoon, the Miami Open is scheduled to go on as planned later this month at Hard Rock Stadium. Among the players entered are Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, Coco Gauff and Sonia Kenin. Seventy-five of the top 76 ranked men are entered (Roger Federer is out with a knee injury), and all the top 74 women are expected.
“The 2020 Miami Open is moving forward as scheduled, March 23 to April 5,” according to a tournament statement. “Safety remains a top priority, and we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely with local, state and federal officials and health organizations in the lead up to the tournament. In addition, we are working with the ATP and WTA tours on recommended best practices and following CDC guidelines closely to provide a safe environment for fans, players and staff.”
The 35 th Miami Open last year drew a record two-week attendance of 388,734 at the event’s new home at Hard Rock Stadium. It had previously been played in Key Biscayne at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, where it drew more than 300,000 per year. Last year’s top single-session attendance was 32,831.
WTA Tour chief executive Steve Simon said in a statement that “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.”
Before the Indian Wells tournament was canceled, officials were considering protective measures such as having ball kids wear gloves and not touch player towels, limited fan-player interaction, gloves for ticket takers, and hundreds of hand-sanitizing stations.
Inter Miami cancels autograph session
Inter Miami, the new Major League Soccer team, is hosting an open training session Tuesday night at its new Fort Lauderdale stadium. Season-ticket holders are invited, and were originally going to have an autograph session with players, but that portion of the evening was canceled as a precaution.
Homestead NASCAR race still on
Meanwhile, the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR race, scheduled for March 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled to go on.
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NASCAR, the parent company of Homestead-Miami Speedway, released this statement: “The health and safety of our fans, competitors, employees and everyone associated with IMSA, ARCA and NASCAR remains our top priority. We are in regular communication with relevant authorities and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”