2019 Miami Open Highlighted by Record Crowds

2019 MIAMI OPEN HIGHLIGHTED BY RECORD CROWDS, AN ELEVATED GUEST EXPERIENCE AND COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY SERVICE MIAMI

(April 4, 2019) – The 35th edition of the Miami Open presented by Itaú showcased the best Miami has to offer, including tennis, art, culture, cuisine, and entertainment in its new Hard Rock Stadium home. The event featured record crowds, an elevated guest experience, and a first-ever community service day.

Record Attendance

The 2019 Miami Open set numerous attendance records: 15 of its 24 sessions had higher attendance than the previous records, including an all-time singles-session attendance mark of 32,831 during the Saturday, March 23 day session. Overall, the tournament’s two-week attendance was 388,734, breaking the old record of 326,131 set in 2012. It also marked the 10th consecutive year the tournament recorded more than 300,000 in total attendance.

 

 

Date

Session

2019 Attendance

** Session Record

18-March

1

  **12,859

19-March

2

**11,251

20-March

3

**16,409

20-March

4

8,776

21-March

5

**21,825

21-March

6

**13,388

22-March

7

**29,019

22-March

8

11,799

23-March

9

**32,831

23-March

10

12,588

24-March

11

**27,705

24-March

12

12,813

25-March

13

**19,441

25-March

14

11,927

26-March

15

**17,753

26-March

16

10,869

27-March

17

**20,183

27-March

18

11,267

28-March

19

**13,879

28-March

20

11,342

29-March

21

**15,004

29-March

22

12,020

30-March

23

**16,413

31-March

24

**17,373

 

 

Elevated Guest Experience
The guest experience at the 2019 Miami Open was curated with the utmost attention to detail, featuring the best of Miami culture, entertainment and luxury.

Food and Beverage
The tournament’s local restaurant partnerships with Bluestone Lane Café, Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina, Casa Tua Cucina, Chī Fa, Kiki on the River, Novecento, Pincho Factory, Sushi Maki and SuViche , alongside high-end beverage activations by Moët & Chandon, Kim Crawford, Stella Artois and William Grant & Sons offered fans the opportunity to enjoy many unique dining and lounging experiences.

Art and music
The Miami Open also collaborated with Art Miami and Goldman Global Arts to curate art murals and gallery work by internationally renowned artists and showcased a range of musicians and DJs.

Guest seating
The luxury seating at Hard Rock Stadium elevated the premium seating experience to a new caliber unlike any seen before in tennis. These premium seating options featured multi-screen experiences with large-screen televisions and tablets, spacious seating with ample legroom complete with an all-inclusive club showcasing world-class fare.

Miami Open Unites
On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Miami Open hosted ‘MIAMI OPEN UNITES’ - a day of service dedicated to giving back to the South Florida community. The program was the first-ever for a tennis event and was inspired by Walk the Walk, an annual day of service during which all Endeavor (parent company of IMG, which owns the Miami Open) employees spend a day giving back to their communities.

Through Miami Open Unites, ATP and WTA players participating in the tournament deployed to five grassroots projects throughout Miami, ranging from rebuilding homes, serving meals to the homeless, working with animals at the Humane Society, speaking with children about overcoming adversity and visiting with sick children at one of the local hospitals. In addition, ATP Charities and WTA Charities each donated $1,500 to Health in the Hood.

Many of the world’s best players participated, including Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Bencic, Kiki Bertens, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Marin Cilic, Danielle Collins, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov, David Ferrer, Julia Goerges, John Isner, Nicolas Jarry, Miomir Kecmanovic, Anett Kontaveit, Petra Kvitova, Nick Kyrgios, Elise Mertens, Garbiñe Muguruza, Kei Nishikori, Jelena Ostapenko, Guido Pella, Aryna Sabalenka, Diego Schwartzman, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.

About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2020 Miami Open will be played March 23 – April 5 at Hard Rock Stadium. 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 Miami’s unique personality, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and celebrity appeal, as well as its close proximity to both Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.

About Itaú
Itaú 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.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world's greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of Endeavor. 

About Hard Rock Stadium
Hard Rock Stadium is a global entertainment destination that serves as home to the Miami Dolphins, University of Miami football team, Orange Bowl, Super Bowl LIV and the 100th anniversary of the NFL, College Football Playoffs 2021 Final, major concerts, international soccer matches and a host of world-class events. The facility has undergone a $500 million, multi-year renovation privately funded by Owner Stephen Ross.


Isner Returns to Miami Open Semifinals for Second Straight Year

ISNER RETURNS TO MIAMI OPEN SEMIFINALS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — John Isner’s Miami magic hasn’t run out just yet. The No. 7 seed is headed to the semifinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú a year after his magical run last year ended with him lifting the Butch Buchholz Trophy as the men’s singles champion.

With a 7-6(1), 7-6(5) win over No. 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, Isner clinched his 12th appearance in a Masters 1000 semifinal. The tiebreaks to decide each set were his sixth and seventh of this tournament alone, and his staggering 23rd and 24th since the beginning of the year. To put that in perspective, 62% of his sets have been decided by tiebreaks.

Isner played four tiebreaks in 2018 en route to the biggest title of his career. His Miami Open run last year turned around the season for him, righting the ship and having without a doubt his best year on tour. He returned to the top 10 for the first time since 2012, won his fifth title in Atlanta, and advanced to his second and third Grand Slam quarterfinals at Wimbledon — where he also reached his first major semifinal — and the US Open.

In that Wimbledon semifinal, he played the second longest match in the tournament’s history at six hours and 36 minutes. The longest — Isner’s first round win over Nicolas Mahut in 2010 at 11 hours and five minutes.

Isner is seemingly replicating his turnaround last year with his run in 2019.

The right-hander with a powerful forehand wing was as reliant as ever on his serve against the Spaniard, facing only one break point in the entire one-hour-and-45-minute match. He aced Bautista Agut at an astonishing clip, tallying up 24 over the two sets of play. The big man failed to get any good looks at Bautista Agut’s serve, however, and squandered the three break point chances he saw.

It all came down to the tiebreaks in the end. While Isner cruised in the first tiebreak, he quickly fell behind 0-3 in the second tiebreak — stunning even himself by losing both points on his serve. But Isner showed a level of poise on defense that he had not displayed all match, stepping in early to deliver too well-timed returns of Bautista Agut’s serve. He would win both of those points on his way to claiming the second-set tiebreak and ultimately the match.

In the semifinals, the American No. 1 will play either No. 11 seed Borna Coric or qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime.


Federer Breezes Into Miami Open Quarterfinals for Record Eleventh Time

FEDERER BREEZES INTO MIAMI OPEN QUARTERFINALS FOR RECORD ELEVENTH TIME

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — Before a packed crowd on Stadium Court on a Wednesday afternoon, Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú by way of a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 13 seed Daniil Medvedev. The 37-year-old former World No. 1 put on a clinic against his young Russian opponent, moving by him in a mere 61 minutes.

“It was a close first set,” Federer said on court after the match. “We both had our small chances and I was able to take them. And sometimes margins are so slim it’s maybe a wrong mistake or a bit of luck here and there but I think I played the right way. I really played good the entire time.”

After exchanging holds to start the match, Federer made his move at 4-all, getting two break points on Medvedev’s serve and converting on the first opportunity for a chance to serve for the set. The Swiss tactician would fall down 0-40, however, and have to fend off three break points that — if converted — would get them back on serve. Federer dismissed all three break points and fought his way back to get a set point, punctuating the set with a classic booming serve that Medvedev returned wide with a backhand.

“Well, I think it was big for me… of course instead of 5-all and momentum his way, at 6-4 he probably sits down frustrated that he missed his chances,” Federer explained about his last service game. “Obviously that was a key game right there."

The 20-time Grand Slam champion showed no patience in the second set, breaking Medvedev thanks to a couple of inexplicable misses on a forehand and a volley that should have been points for the Russian. From there, Federer made it look easy, breaking the 23-year-old a third time. Up a set and two breaks, the indomitable maestro booked his spot in the Miami Open quarters for the eleventh time when a Medvedev forehand went long.

Federer is in search of his fourth Miami Open singles title, and 101st ATP title overall. He is now through to his eleventh quarterfinal in Miami — one more than Andre Agassi and a record on the men’s side. He will face No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson in that quarterfinal match tomorrow.

The 2005, 2006, and 2017 men’s singles champion in Miami owns a 5-1 head-to-head record over Anderson — the one loss coming at Wimbledon last year when the South African came from two-sets-to-love down to shock Federer in the quarterfinals. Asked about the matchup, Federer was excited to see the big man playing.

“I’m happy he’s back playing again,” Federer said in reference to Anderson’s reason sidelining due to an elbow injury. “He’s had a great few years now on the tour, I’m really happy for him. He beat me at Wimbledon last year, I played him again at the [ATP Tour Finals], so I’m really looking forward to playing against him."


Barty Finally Gets Better of Kvitova to Reach Miami Open Semifinals

BARTY FINALLY GETS BETTER OF KVITOVA TO REACH MIAMI OPEN SEMIFINALS

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — No. 12 seed Ashleigh Barty defeated No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú, sealing the win with a dominant third set in the early hours of Wednesday, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2. Barty navigated the pressure of being down 1-5 in the first set tiebreak and dropping the second set to get her first win against the two-time Wimbledon champion.

“Petra’s someone I respect most on tour,” Barty said on court after the big win. “She’s an absolute champion. It’s always a real pleasure to play her. I had to try to take her serve away from her as much as possible. I thought we did that really well today. I’m really pleased.”

Ash Barty, as she’s known affectionately, knows what it’s like to play under immense pressure. At age 16, she played in the women’s doubles final of the 2013 Australian Open. Before a packed house there to see the young Aussie sensation — seen as the next great hope for Australian tennis — and her partner, fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua, they faltered. Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci took the crown 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

It wasn’t long after that Barty took a break from tennis, spending two years playing professional cricket in her home country — despite no formal training in the sport. Tennis came calling again, however, and in 2016 she returned to the sport she loved. A much-needed break reignited the fire within her, and she was ready to face the pressure again.

The pressure doesn’t get any bigger than when she plays on home soil, she admits. And earlier this year, she got the chance to play in two of the biggest matches of her career in Australia: the final of Sydney International and her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open.

The problem? Petra Kvitova was standing in her way both times.

The left-handed Czech gave the crafty Australian fits in both of those matchups, coming back to win in three sets in the first match and dominating from the start to win in straight sets in the second. Kvitova’s success — winning the title in Sydney and reaching the final in Melbourne — came at the expense of Barty, defeated and disappointed in front of her home crowd both times.

Barty isn’t disappointed anymore. Playing fast and loose, and aggressively going after Kvitova’s powerful serve, the 12th-ranked player in the world — who will make her debut in the top 10 on Monday by way of her quarterfinal victory — scored the upset as Tuesday turned into Wednesday, fending off the 2011 WTA Finals champ for the first time in four tries. Barty was asked how it felt to break the top 10 after such a tumultuous tennis journey.

“Bloody good,” she shot out, grinning sheepishly. “I think it's been a goal of mine. That's no secret… We have done a lot of hard work over the last, oh, eight, nine, ten months, whatever it is, to try and just get that little bit better and try and tick every box that we can. I feel like it's made an amazing difference in my tennis, both me as a person and a player.”

Barty will see No. 21 seed Anett Kontaveit in the semifinals — her first at the Miami Open and Premier Mandatory level. She will play the game the way she has always played it, slicing and dicing her shots in a way that aggravate and frustrate her opponent. Another big hitter, like Kvitova, awaits her in Kontaveit.

Tennis, despite the pressure, is what Barty wants to do and does best. Only 22, Barty is wise beyond her years in recognizing her good fortune in getting to play it professionally.

“It's amazing what happens when you put your hopes and dreams out into the universe and do the work. You know, it's amazing… It's a pretty beautiful thing being able to play tennis for a living.”

A reporter attempted to harken back to her days playing cricket, but Barty was quick to shoot it down, saying “Let's not talk about cricket.”

Let’s talk about tennis then, Ash Barty. You seem to be pretty darn good at it.


Halep Digs Deep to Get by Wang, Into Second Miami Open Semifinal

HALEP DIGS DEEP TO GET BY WANG, INTO SECOND MIAMI OPEN SEMIFINAL

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — No. 2 seed Simona Halep has punched a ticket to her second Miami Open semifinal, overcoming the dangerous No. 18 seed Wang Qiang, 6-4, 7-5, on Stadium Court on the second Wednesday of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú. Halep’s victory keeps her alive and in the hunt for the World No. 1 ranking come Monday — she will have to reach the final to reclaim the top ranking.

Ascending to the peak of women’s tennis for the first time in October of 2017, Halep went on a great run in the first half of 2018, reaching the final of that year’s Australian Open before claiming her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros. But despite a win at the Rogers Cup in early August, the second half of the year was a struggle for the Romanian. She fell in the third round at Wimbledon, withdrew from the WTA Finals due to a back injury, and suffered shocking first round exit at the US Open.

Combined with Naomi Osaka’s run to two consecutive Grand Slam titles and her failure to defend her points from a run to the final Melbourne in 2018, Halep let slip of the top ranking at the end of January 2019.

With her gritty win over Wang, though, she stands a chance to ascend to the peak for the third time in her career. Hustling around the court per her usual “Simo” style, the 27-year-old mixed excellent ball retrieval with punctuating bursts of power to outwork her Chinese opponent in the first set. She would acquire a quick break in Wang’s first service game and not look back, en route to taking the opener, 6-4.

The start of the second, however, was night and day from the first set. Wang’s shot selection proved especially troublesome for Halep and the former was hot out of the gates, taking a 5-1 lead. But the champion mentality in Halep never wavered as she fought back to win six games in a row to advance to the quarters. Wang’s downfall — she failed to convert on six break points.

“Well, yeah, that second set until 5-1 down was not great,” Halep explained. “I started to be a little bit negative and talking around the court. But I was able to stop that. What was much better then, I focused on the game. I think I did it pretty well.”

Halep will play the winner of the match Wednesday evening between No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova and unseeded Marketa Vondrousova. If she wins and moves on to the final, she will leapfrog Osaka and current No. 2 Petra Kvitova to restore herself to No. 1 in the world.

On the prospect of returning to the top spot, Halep said, “I just found out from my coach that I need one more match to be No. 1 again. I think it's pretty much in my head, and I'm happy that I'm in this position again. Gives me confidence because... I didn't believe I would be so close again so fast. So it's going to be a big challenge, but I like to play with the pressure. So I hope tomorrow I play my best.”


Shapovalov Bests Tsitsipas in NextGen Showdown, Gets Tiafoe Next

SHAPOVALOV BESTS TSITSIPAS IN NEXTGEN SHOWDOWN, GETS TIAFOE NEXT

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — No. 8 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov battled into the early morning hours of Wednesday to decide who would be playing in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú.

The 19-year-old Shapovalov outlasted the 20-year-old Tsitsipas in a match that ended at 1:48AM ET, with the young Canadian claiming the third set tiebreak to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). This was the third matchup between the two players — they had split the first two meetings.

“I knew Stefanos was going to be a tough match,” said Shapovalov. “I was ready for a long battle and, sure enough, it went the distance… I’m just happy with the way I controlled myself and the way I played today.”

The match pitted two players with a very similar style of play with a one-handed backhand and incredible slice — akin to their shared idol, Roger Federer. In the first set, Tsitsitpas’ court coverage gave Shapovalov fits, getting a racket on every ball and hitting hard and flat to push the left-hander back. Shapovalov also failed to put any pressure on the Greek’s serve, never getting to see a break point. The crucial game came at 4-all, when Tsitsipas jumped on Shapovalov’s second serve to break him and serve out the set.

The second was a complete reversal of the opener, with Shapovalov stepping into Tsitsipas’ serve and getting the 2018 ATP NextGen Finals winner running with his return game. The Canadian No. 1 — leader of a contingent of up-and-coming stars from the country including Bianca Andreescu and Felix Auger-Aliassime — had a dominant set serving as well, landing 80 percent of his first serves, and winning 71 percent of those points. He built up a commanding 5-1 lead in the second and, though he was broken while serving for the match the first time, settled his nerves to force a decider in his next service game.

In the third, impeccable and impenetrable serving saw each player hold throughout the set and never go break-point down. In the tiebreak, Shapovalov would take advantage of early miscues by the Greek phenom to go up 3-1, but Tsitsipas fought back to level at 3-all. From there, Shapovalov would be locked in — firing off an ace and a punishing forehand winner down the line en route to a 7-3 win in the tiebreak to advance to his first Miami Open quarterfinal and third at the Masters 1000 level.

Addressing the lingering crowd that stayed well in Wednesday morning, Shapovalov said, “Thank you guys so much for staying out here this late and watching us play.”

The win sets up a clash with No. 28 seed Frances Tiafoe, age 21, for a berth in the semifinals, guaranteeing that one of the ATP’s coveted NextGen players will be in the final four in Miami.

Tiafoe faced a stiff competitor in No. 18 seed David Goffin, prevailing over the Belgian in two tight sets, 7-5, 7-6(6). The ever-animated Tiafoe pushed Goffin back with his terrific play from the baseline, surviving the former World No. 7’s barrage of 11 aces to break him four times in the match, the decisive break coming late in the first.

In the second, a trade of breaks led to a fiercely-competitive set that was suspended at 4-all due to rain. After more than two hours off the court, the two returned and continued the high-level of play, taking the set to 6-all and a tiebreak. Tiafoe jumped out to a 5-2 lead only to have Goffin reel off three high-pressure points and level at 5-all. After squandering his first match point, Tiafoe maintained his level to get another chance to seal the deal, doing so 8-6 in the tiebreak for the straight-sets win — just over four hours after the match began.

In the other quarter, No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson squeaked by Jordan Thompson in two close sets, 7-5, 7-5. The big man Anderson’s pressure on Thompson’s serve proved to be too much for the Australian to handle, as he faced seven break points and surrendered three. The South African, on the other hand, was broken only once — the only time he was break-point down the entire match.

Anderson will play the winner of the match between No. 4 seed Roger Federer and No. 13 seed Daniil Medvedev, which was postponed to Wednesday because of rain.


Kontaveit Her: Anett Kontaveit is Semifinal-Bound

KONTAVEIT HER: ANETT KONTAVEIT IS SEMIFINAL-BOUND

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — At 23, Anett Kontaveit is headed to the semifinals of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú. Overcoming the oft-puzzling style of her opponent — No. 27 seed Hsieh Su-wei — and a 0-4 deficit in the deciding set, Kontaveit overpowered the crafty player opposite her to win, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, in just over two hours and reach her first Miami Open semis.

“Of course I'm really happy,” Kontaveit told the press afterwards. “My first semifinal… I feel like my game is heading in the right direction. Today probably wasn't, you know, the best match that I have ever played, but I'm so happy to be through that. I feel like I fought really well and I never gave up. I'm really, really happy with the improvements I'm making and being more positive with myself, whatever the score is.”

Hsieh did a remarkable job absorbing the power of Kontaveit early on, racing out to a 3-0 lead in the opening set, ostensibly helped by an untenable 18 unforced errors from the Estonian. Redirecting her opponent’s would-be winners from line to line, Hsieh kept the ball in play just long enough for Kontaveit to make a mistake.

However, in the second, Kontaveit’s power got to be too much for the 33-year-old, as her winner count ticked up and her error count ticked down. The raw strength of Kontaveit was on full display with her forehand winners, eliciting the awe of the crowd inside Stadium Court. At 2-all, she would win four straight games to take the second set easily.

Asked the difference between the first and second for her, Kontaveit responded, “I think I found my game a bit more in the second set. I was more aggressive, making more balls, making her, you know, play more balls and getting the first strike in better than I did in the first set.”

The decider matched up the two players at their highest level, with Hsieh shifting gears and playing first-strike tennis like Kontaveit — the advantage of having an expansive repertoire. The former doubles World No. 1 built a commanding 4-0, but Kontaveit wasn’t going away. The finalist in Wuhan last year dug deep to claim six of the next seven games. And, with Hsieh a point away from forcing a tiebreak at 40-0, Kontaveit added to her win total with two clean smashes that gave her the set and the match.

“I was just trying to take it point by point,” Kontaveit said about her mindset after falling down 0-4. “I was so close to being out of there so many times. I just tried to keep fighting and tried to stay in there and try and still be aggressive somehow. I was trying to think more about what I have to do than about the score.”

In the end, Kontaveit tallied up 44 winners but was broken six times over the course of the three-setter. The reason that didn’t spell the end for her — she broke Hsieh eight times.

Kontaveit will play either No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova or No. 12 Ashleigh Barty in her maiden Premier Mandatory semifinal.


Preview: Kvitova and Barty Add to Rivalry in Womens Quarters Action

PREVIEW: KVITOVA AND BARTY ADD TO RIVALRY IN WOMEN’S QUARTERS ACTION

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — Four seeded women are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to play for spots in the semifinal of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú. The top of the draw is in action, with two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova leading the ticket.

Seeded third, Kvitova is still searching for her first Miami Open semifinal and takes on No. 12 seed Ashleigh Barty for the fifth time and third this year — both earlier wins coming on Barty’s home soil. Kvitova fended off Barty in the final in Sydney, coming back from a set and a break down to win, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(3), and then breezed past her in the Australian Open quarters, 6-1, 6-4.

“She's a great person, great player,” Kvitova said in regard to her next opponent. “We played two times already in kind of different conditions… It's always pretty difficult and it's a very tricky match. She can mix it up a lot. That's why I need to be ready.”

Kvitova has had a great start to the year, picking up a title in Sydney over Barty and reaching the final of the Australian Open — both of which contributed to her return to No. 2 in the world. If she is able to reach the final here in Miami, Kvitova will rise to World No. 1.

In the other quarterfinal of the day, No. 21 seed Anett Kontaveit plays No. 27 Hsieh Su-wei — each vying for their first Miami Open and Premier Mandatory semifinal. Kontaveit advanced when her round of 16 opponent, Bianca Andreescu, retired during their match with a right shoulder injury. Hsieh advanced by way of an upset over No. 13 seed Caroline Wozniacki, which came two days after her more impressive upset of World No. 1 Naomi Osaka.

“We actually used to train together a little bit,” Kontaveit shared with the press. “So I know how she's playing, and she's done really well. I actually enjoy watching her matches a lot. She mixes it up so much, and she's fun to watch… it's tough to find your rhythm against her.”

Kontaveit and Hsieh have only played once, though, with the former taking their only meeting in straight sets — coming all the way back in September 2015.

“Yes, a very, very lovely, nice girl,” Hsieh said of Kontaveit at her own press conference. “She hit the ball different than other girls… very aggressive.”

“That's only time I practice with a girl I make three ace. I still remember. Because normally my game is not like ace, ace, ace, but that time was just practice, and she was hitting the ball so hard. So I was thinking, okay, it's a practice. So I gonna go super hard.”

See the full order of play here.


Miami Open Presented by Itaú Attracts Premier Brands

MIAMI, FL (March 26, 2019) – The Miami Open presented by Itaú is in its second week at its new home at Hard Rock Stadium and all of its new and returning partners have truly helped to elevate the event.

Even before playing its first match at its new home, the tournament continued to attract premier global brands due to its international fan base, celebrity appeal, and television exposure.

In August, the tournament’s presenting sponsor Itaú renewed its partnership with the Miami Open through 2024. In addition, the tournament also saw its Official Apparel sponsor LACOSTE renew through the 2024 event.

One of the Miami Open’s new partners is Ultimate Software, which signed a three-year deal to be the official Human Resources and Payroll Solutions sponsor of the event. As part of its partnership, Ultimate Software has exclusive naming rights to the 72 Club, one of the most luxurious seating experiences in all of South Florida’s sports and entertainment.

Joining the list of leading tournament partners for 2019 include Claro, Avocados from Mexico, Fast Dry Courts, MSC Cruises, William Grant Sons, Kim Crawford, Azimut, Assist Card, Mundo Tennis Tours, and Whiteclaw.

Further strengthening its involvement in the tennis world, Emirates returns as the official airline sponsor for the tournament, along with platinum sponsors Peugeot and Rolex. As fans enjoy the most thrilling two weeks of tennis, the Miami Open continues provisions, ensuring a luxurious experience. The Miami Open continues through Sunday, March 31. Tickets are currently available at www.MiamiOpen.com or by calling 305-943-6736.


Preview: Djokovic and Federer Play on Busy Day for Mens Draw

PREVIEW: DJOKOVIC AND FEDERER PLAY ON BUSY DAY FOR MEN’S DRAW

By Tucker Verdi

Miami Gardens, FL — All sixteen men remaining will take to the court on Tuesday in the fourth round on Day 9 of the 2019 Miami Open presented by Itaú. The winner in each of the eight matches will advance to the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Top seed and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic leads the top half of the draw and plays on Stadium Court in the day session, going up against No. 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic is seeking his record seventh Miami Open singles title, which would be one more than Andre Agassi. Bautista Agut is seeking his fourth Masters 1000 semifinal — having done so previously in Madrid, Montreal, and Shanghai — and first in Miami.

“He is one of those players that make you work very hard for every single point,” Djokovic said of Bautista Agut after his third round win. “He doesn't make mistakes. Just runs around the court. He's very, very consistent and very solid. He improved his backhand, he improved his serve, and his forehand was always very, very solid and powerful.”

The two have clashed nine times on tour — most recently in the semifinals in Doha, where the Spaniard Bautista Agut upset Djokovic 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-4. That is one of only two wins Bautista Agut has over the 15-time major champion, having lost the other seven matches against him.

“He won against me in Doha this year,” Djokovic added, recalling the loss. “I was a set and a break up. I remember that match. He managed to turn the match around. I'll definitely do my homework and hopefully get the win in that match… I think that's what it's going to take to win against Bautista.”

No. 7 seed John Isner continues his title defense in the first match on Stadium Court. At noon ET, the big man is set to take on No. 19 seed Kyle Edmund for his third Miami Open and 16th Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Edmund is in search of his first final eight appearance in Miami.

2018 Miami Open champion and American No. 1 Isner faces the British No. 1 Edmund for the third time in his career — the first since 2016, however. That year, Isner got the better of the Brit in straight sets at Roland Garros before Edmund got his revenge at the American’s home slam, beating him in four sets at the US Open.

Rounding out the top half is a match between up-and-comer No. 11 seed Borna Coric and perennial entertainer No. 27 seed Nick Kyrgios. The latter’s antics on court have drawn him attention over the years, but the Australian has yet to drop a set in a solid tournament thus far. He will play the Croatian Coric for the fourth time, having taken two of the previous three matches.

Also, qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime looks to continue his surprising run at the Miami Open in a fourth-round matchup with No. 17 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime has already advanced to his first round of 16 at a Masters 1000 event, and will make his debut as the youngest player in the top 50 next Monday. Auger-Aliassime and Basilashvili will play for the first time.

No. 4 seed Roger Federer — a three-time winner of the Miami Open — is scheduled to play the last match on Stadium Court in the night session of Day 9. He leads the bottom half and takes on No. 13 seed Daniil Medvedev, who overcame a lengthy match with qualifier Reilly Opelka Monday afternoon, prevailing in three tiebreaks, 7-6(5), 6(5)-7, 7-6(0). Federer is seeking his 101st ATP title, which would put him just eight titles short of Jimmy Connors with 109, while Medvedev is looking to build on his recent success by winning a fourth title in seven months after victories in Winston-Salem, Tokyo, and Sofia.

“Thankfully I played him last year twice in Basel and Shanghai,” Federer said of Medvedev, who he just found out would be his fourth round opponent. “I'm looking forward to the game. But I'm very impressed about his progress, you know. I must say the last year has been unbelievable for him.”

Those two meetings in Basel and Shanghai are the only two matches between Federer and Medvedev, with the Swiss former World No. 1 getting the win on both occasions. Still, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was complimentary of the young Russian’s game.

“He's clever how he, you know, plays the court, because he can play it up and down, and he's unusual when he plays from back. He plays more flat than actually loopy... it's a bit of a different approach.”

Also in action today is a pair of NextGen players who are seen as the future of the men’s game. No. 8 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, and No. 20 seed Denis Shapovalov, 19, will meet for the third time in their young and budding rivalry. While the former is right-handed and the latter is left-handed, they share a similar style of play with their one-handed backhand — akin to their shared tennis idol, Roger Federer.

Their first meeting in Melbourne in 2018 saw the Canadian Shapovalov advance in straight sets, but the Greek Tsitsipas turned the tables in Monte Carlo, picking up a straight-set win as well. Tsitsipas is searching for his second Masters 1000 quarterfinal appearance, while Shapovalov is looking to make it to a third. Either way, with neither having reached that stage at the Miami Open before, we are guaranteed a first-time quarterfinalist when they go head-to-head in the last match on Grandstand.

No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson will battle for his third Miami Open quarterfinal against unseeded Jordan Thompson, who took down No. 10 seed Karen Khachanov in the third round. Three years ago, the two played for the first and only time, with Anderson prevailing easily in two quick set.

The last round of 16 matchup brings together No. 18 seed David Goffin and No. 28 seed Frances Tiafoe. The American Tiafoe will look to get his first win against the Belgian and break a streak of annual losses, having been defeated by Goffin once each in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Play gets underway at noon ET, find the order of play here.