The BNP Paribas Open, which was due to start on Wednesday, has been postponed because of the spreading coronavirus.
Organisers of the event, in the Riverside County community of Indian Wells, made the decision after county officials declared a public health emergency when a case was confirmed in the area.
Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal questioned the decision of postponing the tournament at the eleventh hour.
“Yes you could not cancel Indian Wells any sooner? Why even wait till Sunday night? You didn’t know about the virus or were you waiting for the last second for everyone to arrive, give them a nice welcome mail and then cancel it?” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal reacted to the postponement and said: “You probably all heard the news. Indian Wells cancelled. 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 all well and safe.”
Tournament director Tommy Haas said organizers are prepared to play the event on different dates and will explore options. The decision to postpone was based on the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and the state of California officials, tournament officials said.