By Justin Ross
Media day at the Miami Open gave reporters a chance to get some critical questions answered. From momentum changes to court conditions, we sat down with the game’s biggest stars. Here are some of the more light-hearted tidbits we learned.
1. Angelique Kerber isn’t focused on her No. 1 ranking.
Despite overtaking Serena Williams in WTA standings, Kerber told the media it’s not important.
“Yeah, I’m number one again, but this is actually not what is really important for me. For me, it’s important like at Indian Wells, going out and playing good matches. That is why I’m here and why I’m practicing so much.”
2. If Stan “Stanimal” Wawrinka was an animal, he said he would be a black panther.
“Depends on the day. I quite like a black panther.”
Perhaps the black panther is representative of his offensive prowess on the court.
3. Despite not winning at Indian Wells, Wawrinka was happy with his play.
“I’m really happy with the result. I was sad after the loss, but it was a great final in general. I’m feeling confident with my game because making the final of the first Masters 1000 was great, but here it’s completely different conditions,” said Wawrinka. “So, I will see when I’m going to start to practice again tomorrow. Hopefully, I can do a good result here.”
4. Roger Federer likes to sing.
When asked about the video that surfaced in January of Federer singing with fellow competitors Tommy Haas and Grigor Dimitrov, this is how the Swiss magician responded:
“I was just singing something right now. I don’t remember what it was. I think it was Oasis the last song I had. I had about five songs to listen to. I knew the lyrics of about four of them, so I was having a good time here.”
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova said cutting her hair during a 2016 finals match was odd for even herself.
“It was weird for everybody. My haircutter was like ‘oh, she can do this job as well.’ I even went to a TV show in Russia, and they made me cut hair. I was really tired, and I was emotionally stressed. I didn’t think clearly. I was struggling with my ponytail for a couple months after. Everybody was surprised, and so was I.”
6. Jack Sock’s star-struck moment was meeting Andy Roddick at a Nebraska Cornhuskers football game.
“My first experience with that was probably meeting Andy after he won the U.S. Open. We’re both diehard Cornhuskers fans. When I was 9 or 10, they were honoring him on the field at a Husker game. I was still living in Lincoln, and my dad, and brother, and I went to the game. I went down on the field and met him, so that was probably the first time I had that feeling.”
7. Sock used to have basketball aspirations. He also picked Duke for the finals in his March Madness Bracket.
“I love playing, watching whatever it is. I’ll go play a pickup game when I’m at home sometimes, and I enjoy doing it, but I was a little bit better at tennis.
“I do [have a bracket]. I don’t like to really talk about it. I had Duke in the final.”
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2017 Miami Open will be played March 20-April 2 at the Crandon 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 95,000 employees and operations in 20 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 and media operating in more than 25 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; strategic partnerships with sponsors and brands; and marquee assets across sports, entertainment, events, music and fashion.