Two of the biggest names in women's tennis make their 2014 Sony Open Tennis debuts on Thursday with World No. 1 Serena Williams and World No. 7 Maria Sharapova scheduled to start their respective runs on Stadium Court in the afternoon and evening, respectively. Williams and Sharapova are near permanent fixtures in Key Biscayne, especially in the finals, as combined they have disputed 13 finals, including facing off in last year's championship match.
Williams, who has won the most Sony Open titles (6) in the tournament's 25-year history, is scheduled to play in the late afternoon (not before 5 p.m.) against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
Sharapova has reached five Sony Open finals (including the last three) and will lead off the evening session against Kurumi Nara of Japan.
Last year's women's final participants are only two of the many big names scheduled to play with Women's Singles 2nd Round, Men's First Round and Doubles action on tap for Thursday.
On the women's side, notable players sure to delight fans include: No. 5 Angelique Kerber taking on Shuai Peng; No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova facing Paula Ormaechea; former World No. 1 and French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic taking the court against Lauren Davis; and Sabine Lisicki versus Nadia Petrova.
On the men's side, the action will be just as intense with include 33-year-old, 2-time Grand Slam winner Lleyton Hewitt matching up against Robin Haas; Bernard Tomic squaring off against Jarkko Nieminen; American qualifier Jack Sock looking to continue his run at the Sony against Guido Pella; and Sam Querrey closing out the day's action against Sergiy Stakhovsky on the Stadium Court.
If you want to meet one of the best men’s players in the world while cooling down with a refreshing beverage, don’t miss Michelob ULTRA Night at the Sony Open. Come join Michelob brand ambassadors at the Michelob ULTRA Beer Garden for a chance to get your hands on some terrific Michelob ULTRA giveaway items and meet Marin Cilic, World No. 25. Cilic is scheduled to appear at around 4:30 p.m. at the Michelob ULTRA Beer Garden. Join him and play a trivia game for a chance to win a special autographed item.