KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – This week marks the beginning of the end to an era of tennis on Key Biscayne.
The Miami Open is being held there for the last time before the tournament moves to Hard Rock Stadium next year.
Fans were ready, popcorn and all, to see some of their favorites like Roger Federer hit the practice courts one more time.
Everyone is taking advantage of the atmosphere before the tourney moves to Hard Rock Stadium.
“It’s pretty sweet I put the windows down, got my sunglasses on, blaring some music and I always seem to look back at downtown. It’s just a really cool, really cool view,” said tennis player Jack Sock.
“It’s an icon here,” added tennis fan Marybel Herrera. “I’ve been coming here since it was the Lipton. That just tells you how old I am. But yea it’s sad to see it go. It’s a part of Key Biscayne, at least for me.”
Other fans like NBA Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, whose daughter is a pro tennis player, admit they’re just happy to see such high level tennis stay in South Florida.
“I’m glad it’s in Miami,” McAdoo said. “As a matter a fact, it’s closer to me being up at the stadium, you know when they move next year. So it’s ok with me as long as I can see good tennis and the best players in the world, I’m happy.”
Fans may miss the palm trees and the proximity to the beach but the pros say seeing the Miami Open grow is more important.
“When we talk about where we want to get this sport, I think it’s a good thing,” said tennis star Novak Djokovic. “Obviously a lot of people are connected and kind of emotional about Key Biscayne. I’m one of them. I’ve had plenty of great memories and success in this tournament and good times in this island.”
“It’s going to be a good change for all players for sure because I think this venue is just not big enough anymore for all the people who try coming here,” added women’s star Caroline Garcia. “A lot of big crowds for fans and supporters.”
If you’re unsure about the move to Hard Rock Stadium there’s a tent at Crandton Park that will preview what’s to come for the Miami Open.