DOMINIC THIEM is due to defend his Indian Wells crown in just a matter of days.
The ‘Grand Slam of the West’ Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells kicks off the ‘Sunshine Double’ in the United States, followed by the Miami Open.
However, as the spread of coronavirus threatens to derail the world’s sporting calendar there have been question marks over whether the competition will go ahead.
Has Indian Wells Masters be cancelled due to coronavirus?
The world of sport has been impacted by the outbreak, with numerous postponements to events across Europe.
Italy have had their Six Nations matches with Ireland and England called off, numerous Serie A matches have been postponed, while the MotoGP season opener in Qatar and Chinese Grand Prix have been shelved.
And the Indian Wells Masters has joined that list after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in the nearby Coachella Valley.
Tournament director and former player Tommy Haas has announced that they will look to play the competition on another date.
But health officials have postponed over the worry of the virus spreading to the spectators coming to the event.
Dr David Agus of the University of Southern California 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.”
Haas added: “We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance.”