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Flipkens furious to learn on Twitter that Indian Wells Open was cancelled
Kirsten Flipkens
by Joe Wright
9 Mar 2020, 10:20

Kirsten Flipkens was left aghast after claiming to have learned via social media that the Indian Wells Open was cancelled.

Organisers confirmed on Sunday that the WTA event and the ATP Indian Wells Masters, which were both scheduled to start on Monday, had been called off due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency on Sunday after a confirmed case in Coachella Valley.

World number 77 Flipkens reacted with angry surprise to a tweet from the official tournament account that confirmed it had been called off, saying: "And the players had to find out... through Twitter...".

When American player Nicole Gibbs replied to tell Flipkens "There was an email", the Belgian responded: "I saw it on Twitter first."

She also sent a message to the WTA and urged fellow professionals to share it, saying: "@WTA isn't the least you can do is [sic] organising an emergency meeting with the players????"

Rising American star Coco Gauff said she was "so sad" that the event had been cancelled. The 15-year-old had been due to make her debut at the event this week.

"Safety is always the no.1 priority," she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murray expressed concern over the rest of the 2020 calendar given the Indian Wells tournaments were called off due to just one confirmed coronavirus case.

"Doesn't bode well for the tour if IW cancelled for 1 confirmed case in Coachella Valley," he wrote on Twitter. "Broward county (Miami Open home) has more confirmed cases. Monte Carlo borders northern Italy currently in lockdown. Rome Masters? French Open? Wimbledon?!!!"

In a statement following the Indian Wells cancellations, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said: "It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."