SERENA WILLIAMS AND MARIA SHARAPOVA TO HEAT UP THE FIRST ROUND
The tennis stars are set to play their opening matches during Wednesday’s day session
MIAMI, FL (March 12, 2018) – The Miami Open will bring the heat early, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova playing their first round matches during Wednesday’s day session (Session 3) on March 21, 2018.
Their opponents will be decided at the women’s draw on Sunday, March 18.
The 34th edition of the Miami Open will take place at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne for the final time in 2018. The Miami Open moves to a new state-of-the-art facility at Hard Rock Stadium beginning in 2019.
Williams, an eight-time Miami Open champion, will return to the purple courts after missing the 2017 tournament while preparing for the birth of her daughter. The new mother took the year off, following her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the 2017 Australian Open; pushing her past Steffi Graf for most major titles in the Open Era.
Williams has won the Miami Open more than any other tournament in her career, and her eight Miami titles amount to more than any other player in history, male or female.
Sharapova returns to Miami seeking her first Miami Open title. The five-time finalist is used to making long tournament runs at the Crandon Park Tennis Center. The former World No. 1 is one of only six women to achieve the career Grand Slam, completing the sweep at the 2012 French Open.
In 2017, she claimed her 36th career WTA singles title, which ranks third among active WTA players.
With their Wednesday starts, Williams and Sharapova will kick-off an amazing two weeks of tennis featuring the greatest players in the world.
The men’s player field features several Grand Slam singles winners including defending Miami Open champion Roger Federer, who claimed his 20th major title at this year’s Australian Open. The men’s field also boasts the six-time Miami Open champion Novak Djokovic; Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic; and former US Open Champion and crowd favorite Juan Martin del Potro.
On the women’s side, there is no shortage of competition. World No.1 Simona Halep will be challenged by 2018 Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki; seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams; 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys; two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens.
The Miami Open is more than just a tennis event. Located in one of the world’s most beautiful vacation destinations with a diverse fan base and exquisite dining and luxury shopping offerings, the Miami Open has an energy and excitement that is uniquely Miami.
Tickets are on sale now. Packages start at $136 and individual session tickets start at $35. Fans looking to catch all the action can purchase tickets online at www.miamiopen.com or call the Miami Open Ticket Office at 305-442-3367 to watch the tournament during its final Key Biscayne appearance.
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.
Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.