Miami's premier tennis event, previously known as the Sony Open is now the "Miami Open presented by Itaú".
It is Miami's place to be this spring, an electrifying two weeks of tennis...
...delightful weather, celebrity galore, and if that's not enough, a stunning setting in gorgeous Key Biscayne, first-rate entertainment events and a world-class venue equipped with great food and facilities.
The event has such a fantastic atmosphere, it is a very enjoyable way to spend a day with family and friends and to see the world's top-ranked tennis players close-up and in action... Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Venus and Serena, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal... yes, they are all here!
As you wander around the grounds, you will invariably catch a glimpse of some celebrity, NBA star, singer, model, actor or actress and the players in the practice courts. All in a very relaxed setting.
There are plenty of food concessions and tents from gourmet to deli sandwiches, pizza, salads, seafood and Starbucks so you certainly won't go hungry.
And where else can you enjoy the best of tennis with your feet in the sand?
There is a relaxed beach setting in the west side of the stadium where you can watch all the action on the huge video boards.
Considering the glitz and glam overload this event packs, tickets for the Miami Open are quite reasonable, starting as low as $5 for the early qualifying rounds and increasing as the tournament progresses.
Maria Sharapova takes on the court
The Miami Open is one of the largest tournaments outside the four Grand Slam events.
It is played on hard courts at the Tennis Center in Crandon Park in Key Biscayne over two weeks in the Spring.
There is $11+ million in prize money awarded at the tournament and of course the ATP and WTA ranking points.
During the tournament there is a Day Session and an Evening Session. The Day session starts at 10:00 a.m. and normally four matches are played in the Stadium Court.
The Evening Session starts at 7:00 pm. and two matches are played.
Night Session: Martin Klizan battles Djokovic at the 2015 Miami Open
Number of matches played are of course weather-dependent and subject to change.
The main action takes place at the Stadium Court, the octagon-shaped stadium. In addition, the Miami Open Tennis Tournament uses 12 courts in competition courts, plus six practice courts where you never know who you might just run into.
Qualifying rounds take place the first couple of days of the tournament. I have to confess I don't know much about the single-elimination process or the draws for the day, we simply show up and have never been dissapointed with "who we got to see". The first weekend has always been a great time.
You can of course check what is going on and who is playing whom at the official site www.miamiopen.com.
The Miami Open 2017 will welcome once again the best of the best with a fantastic line-up which will likely feature the top players including Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Venus and Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and of course defending champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka.
When? March 20 - April 2, 2017
Where? Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne. Here's how to get to Key Biscayne and Crandon Park.
Parking? During the tournament, parking could be challenging, allow some extra time. As you enter Key Biscayne, follow the signs for the tournament parking and take the free shuttle.
How Much? Tickets from $5 for the earlier qualification sessions, Women's Finals from $49+, Men's Finals from $120+
Comfortable clothing and sun protection are a must. The tournament is played outside, be prepared. Even in March, mid-day temperatures in Miami can soar in the high 80's. Bring sunglasses, large hats and sunscreen to protect from the sun.
Also be prepared for the occasional rain shower as there isn't much cover.
To avoid the heat, try the evening sessions which are quite pleasant and with a lively atmosphere.
If you have enough Tennis for the day, head accross the street to nearby Crandon Park Beach, go for a dip, cool off and enjoy the gentle waves!
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