Stunning photo diary captures the enthralling tennis at the 2019 Miami Open
It’s been a tournament to remember with breakthrough performances and plenty of shocks combined with a superb new venue and perfect conditions for the large, tennis loving crowds.
The Miami Open kicked off against a backdrop of the incredible new courts built within the huge Hard Rock Stadium. There was plenty of nostalgia that the tournament had moved from the intimate surroundings of Crandon Park but sport moves on and tennis needs to keep up with the competition. Former player James Blake and now Tournament Director at Miami has been integral in this new look tournament and he should be praised for producing a great showpiece for the game we all love.
The new stadium and surroundings were presented beautifully. A few players commented on the lack of crowds early in the tournament but those questions were brushed off by good attendances as the tournament progressed.
The four biggest names in tennis were invited to cut the ribbon and officially open the new court. Little did we know that in a few days time just one of them would be left standing!
Serena Williams was dispatched in round 3 by the Chinese youngster Qiang Wang who would go on to the Quarter Finals before losing a close game to Simona Halep.
Wang is definitely one for the future. Currently ranked 18 in the world and at 27 years old she is likely to be entering the most productive period of her career.
Another Asian player surprising some with her performances in Miami was Su-Wei Hsieh from Chinese Taipei. At 33 she’s one of the WT Tour’s elder stateswomen but her canny, unorthodox style has kept many players guessing this week as she progressed to the Quarter Finals before losing to Estonia’s Annett Kontaveit.
No.1 seed in the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic, suffered another early loss to the same player he’s lost to earlier this year, Roberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic seemed to suggest he was distracted by off court matters which point to the involvement he has with the ATP Tour and the recent decision to remove Chris Kermode from his role as chairman of the Tour, a decision that Djokovic was instrumental in.
Bautista Agut has a great record against the top players and never gives up. His 5 set victory over Andy Murray at the Australian Open proved this but unfortunately he couldn’t get past an in-form John Isner in the following match
Isner is the defending champion this week and, although he’s stated he doesn’t expect to win, he’s still in the tournament and looking good. His serving and movement this week have been the best we’ve seen from him recently, which spells trouble for anyone trying to break his game down.
Isner beat the last British hope in the draw Kyle Edmund in the third round in two tie break sets. But Edmund had to put up with some calling from the crowd with one shout of ‘out’ from the stands causing Edmund to stop playing in the 2nd set tie break and ultimately forfeit the point and the match. It seemed unfair at the time but the umpire had no choice.
As usual, Nick Kyrgios was creating headlines of his own for a variety of reasons. Some of his shot making was sublime and his run to the third round was as exciting as ever. But he was also embroiled in a number of ‘non tennis’ matters including this moment where he decided to play ‘heads up’ with his water bottles at the change of ends. Never a dull moment with Nick on court!
Canadian teenager Dennis Shapovalov has smashed his way to the Quarter Finals where he’ll face fellow youngster Frances Tiafoe. Shapovalov will be heading for the World’s top 20 after this week and his highest ranking ever. Could this be the start of a succesful run for a player who many have predicted as a future World No.1?
Remarkably, the only other teenager in the World’s top 100 is also a Canadian, Felix Auger Aliassime. He’s been lighting up Miami with his incredible athleticism which has seen him reach the Quarter Finals and a match up against Borna Coric. Few would doubt his potential to make a big impact on the ATP Tour for many years to come.
As ever though it’s Roger Federer making the headlines with his sublime play even at the age of 37. Apart from a tough first round, where he admitted not concentrating on the advice from his coach, his form has been superb and another victory at a Masters 1000 is surely within his sights.
If you can’t visit the tournaments you love then do the next best thing and read our guide on how to watch all the ATP Tour matches on television in 2019