Miami Open is a tennis tournament held at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It is one of the most popular events in tennis, in which 100 players from all over the world participate to win the tournament. Miami Open started in 1987 and was initially held at the Tennis Centre at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, and then moved to Miami Gardens in 2019.
Miami Open 2021: The 36th Edition
Miami Open 2021 is the 36th edition of the tournament. It is a WTA 1000 event on the 2021 WTA tour and a Masters 1000 event on the 2021 ATP Tour. The 2020 edition was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Florida and this year tournament will be played with all safety measures and precautions. Only 800-1000 spectators will be allowed for each session due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Miami Open 2021 Misses Many Important Things
The popular event is going to miss many important things, which made the tournament more interesting. The best players, including the grand troika of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Rodger Federer, are skipping the event. Also, Miami Open is taking place without the opening act of March winter hardcourt swing, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Nadal will be skipping the event due to his sore back and to prepare for the spring clay-court season. Roger Federer was the defending champion of the Miami Open in 2019 as the tournament was suspended in 2020. Federer recently returned to professional tennis after two knee surgeries and is focusing to be fit for Wimbledon in late June. He is also planning to skip the spring clay-court season this year.
The world’s second top Australian Open finalist, Daniil Medvedev is playing as the rising star, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. The 2020 United States Open champion Austria’s Dominic Thiem is slumping and taking a pass. Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland is also going to skip the event.
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Many have criticized players for skipping the event, while others have defended absence in general and specifically at Miami. Gillie Simon posted that he was skipping the tournament because of the pandemic situation. David Goffin said that travelling to the U.S for only one event is hectic, without Indian Wells on the calendar.
Another missing piece in Miami is the Stadium Court, typically built inside Hard Rock Stadium. The tournament will be held at the Grandstand as the main court and Court One as the secondary court.
It is the new normal for the players to decide whether to play or not to play. The players don’t just focus on winning a huge cash prize and winning the tournament but also pay more attention to their health and routine. The players in Miami have to live under many restrictions due to Covid-19. All the players and staff are allowed to live only in one of the two hotels allotted to them. The players who are used to Miami’s life, restaurants, and culture are living under strict guidelines. The men’s and women’s tennis tours are created in such a way that the players are kept as safe as possible.
New Talents at Miami Open 2021
It is good to have big names in the tournament as it brings a lot of attention to fans. But on the other side, because of this, new talents get a chance to showcase their skills. Tennis sponsorships for young talents is also increased so that they can get proper exposure to the event. In Miami Open, 128 athletes are going to compete to win the tournament. Big names won’t make much of a difference after the event starts, as stated by Ken Solomon, the Chief executive of Tennis Channel.
The tournament has been scheduled from 22 March until 4th April and is telecasted on Tennis TV, while ESPN has the rights in the USA from quarter-final onward. It will be also live-streamed on Amazon Prime Videos. You can get 30 days trial for it with Amazon. It will be exciting to see that despite missing big names, how the tournament will grab the attention of the fans.