The Indian Wells Masters looks to be set for an untimely postponement in 2021 according to France’s l’Equipe.
The respected sport daily on Monday reported that the ATP is nearing completion of an emergency calendar for next season – all predicated on the Australian Open being held after a 14-day player quarantine from February 8.
As a part of the plan, the ATP-WTA Indian Wells event will be “postponed” on a hugely crowded calendar with no date mentioned for its reprise.
Local officials are reportedly not willing to stage the re-run unless 25 per cent of the normal fan numbers are allowed through the gates of the Tennis Garden.
The popular Southern California desert showpiece was the first to get the boot last March as the virus pandemic took hold in Europe and the US; Tour tennis was later suspended for five months until a tepid resumption last August.
Now, everything seems to be revolving around anticipated developments in Melbourne, where the Australian government has yet to approve staging of the season’s first Grand Slam, normally played from mid-January.
According to l’Equipe, cancellations already announced (Auckland, Pune, New York, Rio and Indian Wells) will stand, with more possible.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked as to the willingness of players to quarantine in hotel rooms for two weeks in Melbourne with the chance to train for only two hours per day while being on the “outside” for a total of just five in any 24-hour period.
The month from late February would appear to offer the only slots for make-up tournaments after the anticipated decimation of the February schedule. No decision has been announced for the Miami Masters, normally played in late March after Indian Wells..
Likely candidates for fill-in weeks include:
February 22 to 28: Montpellier, Cordoba, a new ATP 250 .
March 1 to 7: Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, a new ATP 250
March 8 to 14: Doha, Marseille, Santiago
March 15-21: Acapulco, Dubai.
The Florida Delray 250 could be staged in early January and there seems to be a possibility of another Australian 250 prior to the start of the Open.