March 9, 2020 / 8:41 PM / 22 days ago

Miami Open 'moving forward' despite coronavirus fears

(Reuters) - The Miami Open, which brings together the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world, will carry on as scheduled in two weeks’ time despite concerns about coronavirus, tournament organizers said on Monday.

The status of the two-week tournament featuring players from over 40 countries comes a day after the prestigious Indian Wells event was called off at the last minute because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus in Southern California.

“The 2020 Miami Open is moving forward as scheduled, March 23-April 5,” organizers said in a 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.”

Organizers also said they will work closely with the governing ATP and WTA on recommended best practices and follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide a safe environment for fans, players and staff.

Last year’s Miami Open attracted nearly 400,000 spectators.

Roger Federer, currently sidelined after knee surgery in February, won the men’s Miami Open title for a fourth time last year while Australian Ash Barty triumphed in the women’s event.

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said on Monday there were no immediate changes expected to the Tour calendar but the organization was exploring all options to maintain safety at tournaments.

“The ATP Tour calendar beyond Indian Wells remains as status quo,” said Gaudenzi. “We continue to monitor the situation daily, working closely with our player and tournament members with the understanding that direction must be taken from local public health authorities.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, additional reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris

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