French doubles star Nicolas Mahut thinks the players should receive the Indian Wells first round prize money after the tournament got cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The opening Masters event of the season -- which was due to start this week in Indian Wells -- became the first major United States sporting event to get cancelled over the coronavirus concerns.
"I just spoke to people on the players council, all the players should receive the first round money," Mahut told L'Equipe, as revealed by We Love Tennis France. The Indian Wells tournament organizers and the representatives of the ATP and WTA held a meeting on Sunday -- on which they decided that hosting the event in the wake of coronavirus would put all the parties involved at a high risk of compromising their health.
The news came as a shock to both the players and fans as it wasn't expected that the tournament would make such an extreme call and cancel the event. "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,” Tournament Director Tommy Haas said in a statement. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options."