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Tennis world weighs in on Indian Wells cancellation

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — As night turned to morning and the world awoke to the news announced Sunday night that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was canceled, the tennis world started weighing in. 

Desert resident and tennis Hall of Famer Rosie Casals was definitely taken aback when she heard the news late Sunday.

“It’s very difficult to wrap your head around, I kind of feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone,” Casals said Monday morning. “Something like this has never happened except maybe in time of war or an act of nature, but this is devastating not just for me but for the desert communities and hotels and restaurants and everything.” 

Casals, a 12-time doubles Grand Slam champion and one of the pioneers of women’s tennis, is also affected personally as she hosts a charity event on the middle Sunday of the BNP Paribas Open. This year they were going to honor Billie Jean King and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Original 9 women who changed the face of women’s tennis. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for Casals and her Love and Love Tennis Foundation which helps youth tennis. 

That event, which raised more than $75,000 last year, will not happen this year. 

“Certainly, the decision has huge ripple effects,” Casals said. “I’m lucky many people have already reached out to me very graciously to say they’re still going to donate. I’m just sorry we don’t get to have the event and celebrate all the great people. It’s always such a fun event.”

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