KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) – The focus of the tennis world will fix its gaze on South Florida for the next two weeks as the newly named Miami Open is set to begin on Monday.
The tournament, formerly known as the Sony Open, is the 31st edition of the Miami Masters and is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar. It’s also a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar.
The top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world will compete on the outdoor courts at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.
The Miami Open has a combined purse of almost $11 million with the men’s and women’s singles winner each receiving a prize of $787,000. Doubles team winners will collect $257,860.
The men’s defending champion, Novak Djokovic, will play his first match on Saturday at 8 p.m. while Serena Williams, who has won the last two years in Key Biscayne, begins on Friday at 8 p.m.
Djokovic is a four-time winner at Crandon Park but Williams has been crowned champion a record seven times. She has been battling a knee injury but is expected to play.
Qualifying rounds will take place on Monday and Tuesday. The women’s main draw begins on Tuesday and the men get going on Wednesday.
Those hoping to see Roger Federer will once again be disappointed as he decided to skip the event for the second time in the last three years.
The Miami Open has a little bit of everything. Aside from the championship tennis there will be plenty of food options made by both celebrity chefs and local award winners, while shoppers can enjoy the assorted retail options.
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)