As every year, the Miami Open has announced the date and approximate hour of the top players' debut for the 2019 edition. Novak Djokovic will face Bernard Tomic or Tomas Berdych on Friday, 22nd March in the day session, while Nick Kyrgios will compete against a qualifier or Tennys Sandgren in the evening, the same day.
Roger Federer will instead open his campaign against Matthew Ebden or a qualifier on Saturday, 23rd March in the day session. Federer has always played his first match in the day session in the last few years at the Miami Open: in 2018, he lost to Thanasi Kokkinakis, in 2017, he opened his run against Frances Tiafoe.
The Tournament Director James Blake commented on the new Miami Open venue: “We’re going to have a lot of people around to help fans and players because it’s the first time, people were used to Crandon Park, they had it down, had their routes down and now a player’s going to get lost going from locker room to the lounge,” he said.
“By the second or third day, they’ll figure it out. We want input from fans and players. The customers are always right. We have no restrictions, Sky’s the limit." Blake concluded: “The teams around players have gotten so much bigger with coaches, trainers, physical therapists, stringers, spouses, kids, so having this much extra space makes it so everybody can be comfortable and have their own little areas.
We’re going to offer luxury amenities unprecedented in tennis, and that’s really exciting,” Blake said. Tickets sale are up by 20 percent as compared to last year. "There was some skepticism, understandable because people couldn’t envision tennis in a football stadium and they saw a parking lot out there last year," admitted Blake.
"To know that now there are now five different neighborhoods out there, cool spaces like the East Terrace, West Lawn, Casa Tua, champagne gardens, Kim Crawford wine, Kiki on the River, so many spots, they made it into a place where you can go without even thinking about tennis.
I honestly think there will be people who go out there and never go into the stadium. They’ll hang out, have some drinks, grab a great meal, listen to live music, check out the art, and go home”.