The BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament has been cancelled amid a coronavirus outbreak in California, marking the first major sporting event in the US to be axed due to the contagious disease. 

The professional tennis tournament, which draws athletes from around the world such as Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal and thousands of fans, was slated to take place from Monday March 9th to March 22nd in Indian Wells, California.

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Officials made a decision late Sunday to cancel the tournament declaring a public health emergency. 

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