2020 BNP Paribas Open cancelled amid Coronavirus fears
Last year's edition saw Austria's Dominic Thiem defeat Switzerland's Roger Federer (Getty Images/Clive Brunskill)

The tennis world has been left stunned after the cancellation of the high profile and popular Indian Wells event in California.

Public health bodies issued a state of emergency in California following the escalation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which has seen other sporting events around the world abandoned due to similar circumstances.

The decision places the tennis calendar in disarray as other tournaments, such as the Miami Open later in the month, and the upcoming clay-court events across Europe, face being placed on lockdown.

Playing behind closed doors has been implemented within other sports in the past few weeks, but considering the nature of tennis and the crowd factor, this was never an option.

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The ultimate importance for public health authorities was to limit any likelihood of the virus becoming a pandemic. Going ahead with the event was seen as far too great a risk for thousands of fans, along with players and organisers alike.

It now seems likely that the entire sporting calendar in 2020, including Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics could be affected, while French Open and Wimbledon officials face mounting fears of cancellation in the coming weeks.  

Last year's final saw new world number three, Dominic Thiem, fight back from a set down to defeat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. 

Both players and their fellow competitors will no longer be able to defend vital ranking points or even gain such points.

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Masters 1000 events such as these yield the most amount of points outside of the Grand Slams with the winner netting an incredible 1000 points towards their world ranking.

Current world number four Federer was due to miss the tournament anyway as he recovers from a recent knee operation which will see him miss the entire clay-court season.

https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1230436935832940546/photo/1 

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