Tuesday, 29 December 2020 19:16

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: ATP.

The Indian Wells tournament, scheduled to take place in California in March 2021, has been postponed over coronavirus concerns, the ATP says.

The tournament, a combined ATP and WTA event which is one of the biggest and most prestigious outside of the Grand Slams, was cancelled in 2020.

A BNP Paribas Open statement read: "The BNP Paribas Open will not be held March 8-21, 2021 as originally scheduled.

"The tournament is proactively working with the ATP and WTA Tours as well as title sponsor BNP Paribas to confirm dates later in the year to hold the event. Details will be released in the near future as plans are finalised.

"This decision was made after thorough consultation with state and local health authorities and tournament owner Larry Ellison."

The BNP Paribas Open - also known as the Indian Wells Masters - is often referred to as the 'fifth major', and lists Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka as previous winners.

It normally draws more than 400,000 fans each year to Indian Wells.

This year's event - due to take place in March 2020 - was also called off because of coronavirus concerns while the first Grand Slam of the 2021 season, the Australian Open, has been pushed back by three weeks to February 8.

Dominic Thiem and Bianca Andreescu are the most recent winners of the singles' titles at Indian Wells, having beaten Federer and Angelique Kerber in the 2019 finals, respectively.

The ATP later announced a revised schedule for weeks 8-13 of the 2021 ATP Tour season.