What to Expect This Year at The "New" Miami Open 2019
By Adriana Garuolis
It is springtime in Miami and the energy in the air is electric as highly-anticipated, world-class caliber events abound in this tropical peninsula, and there is no doubt that the 2019 Miami Open sits amongst the top of this exciting activity frenzy for both locals and tourists alike.
Inaugurating its new home at the more centrally located and expansive Hard Rock Stadium, the 35th edition of the Miami Open presented by Itau showcases 12 days of thrilling tennis featuring the best players from around the world. Overall, 18 of the top 20 ATP players are competing on the men’s side of the draw and a solid 20 out of 20 top ranked WTA players will be battling it out on the women’s side of the draw.
The new venue at Miami Gardens involved a $72 million investment to transform the already existing professional football stadium and its surrounding areas into a state-of-the-art tennis venue. The Hard Rock Stadium is proud to present its players and tennis fans with: expanded parking facilities located right next to the tennis complex, a 14,000-seat stadium court, 30 permanent show and practice courts, one-of-a-kind luxury seating experiences, and a sizable tennis oasis showcasing the culture, food, art and entertainment of South Florida.
Of notable mentions this year:
* Swiss superstar Roger Federer returns to the Miami Open for his 18th appearance since his debut in 1999. The 37 year old legendary champion is so far steamrolling this season at 12-2, highlighted by a 100th tour level title (near record-breaking, surpassed only by Jimmy Connors with 109 titles) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships earlier this month.
* Last year’s champion at the Miami Open, the towering John Isner (currently ranked No. 9 in the world), will be back to defend his title as the first American to win the Miami crown since Andy Roddick in 2010.
* Expect edge-of-your-seat match-ups between the well-known top seed powerhouses Novak Djokovic (No. 1), Alexander Zverev (No. 3) and Kevin Anderson (No. 5) with their rising celebrious NextGenATP opponents Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 8), Denis Shapovalov (No. 20) and Frances Tiafoe (No. 28).
* Holding an astounding 8 titles in Miami, Serena Williams (No. 10) returns this year to contend amongst the toughest and most exciting of players in the hot zone of the tennis world today: Naomi Osaka (No. 1), winner of the last two Grandslam Opens; Simona Halep (No. 2) whom stands right at the heels of Osaka for that top seed ranking, having held the No. 1 spot as recently as January of this year; and rapidly rising Canadian phenom Bianca Andreescu (No. 70) whom stole the spotlight last week at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, becoming the first teenager to win at Indian Wells since Serena Williams in 2001 as well as the youngest to win there since Serena in 1999.