Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig of Miami is the Wednesday night headliner at the Miami Open. She will play the featured match on Stadium Court and is sure to get a warm welcome home in her first Miami appearance since winning Puerto Rico’s first gold medal in the Rio Olympics.
Puig, 23, is ranked 40 in the world after getting as high as No. 27 last November. She is among the players who participated in Kids Day on Tuesday, spending time with hundreds of Miami-Dade schoolkids. Americans Jack Sock and Lauren Davis also mingled with the children.
Kicking off the weekend, four-time finalist Rafael Nadal will play Friday afternoon.
Roger Federer, coming off titles at the Australian Open and Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, is scheduled to play his first match Saturday afternoon. Argentine Juan Martin del Potro will take the court Saturday night.
Svetlana Kuznetsova has no problem with Maria Sharapova receiving wild cards into tournaments after serving her 15-month doping ban. Sharapova is due to return to the tour in April in Stuttgart, and Dominika Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki are among players who said Sharapova should have to start from the bottom and not get wild cards into tournament draws.
Sharapova received a reduced ban for meldonium, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that she had not intentionally broken rules when she took the banned substance.
“I think Maria is a great champion and I don’t think she did it for cheating; it was a different situation,” Kuznetsova said. “There is a court decision that was made. I am not the one to talk or judge, and I don’t think Dominika should judge, either. There is a court, people who are professional in these decisions.”
A video of Kuznetsova cutting her own hair during a match in October went viral. Down a match point and getting annoyed by a clump of hair in her eyes, she grabbed scissors during a changeover and clipped it off.
“Everybody was really surprised, and so was I,” Kuznetsova said. “My hair cutter was like, ‘Oh, you can do this job, as well.’ I went on a TV show in Russia, and they made me cut somebody’s hair. It was really funny. I was in such an emotional state. I was tired and stressed and didn’t think clearly. It was bothering me, so I took it away.”
Like many college basketball fans, Sock had Duke going to the final of the NCAA Tournament and was disappointed to see the Blue Devils lose to South Carolina. “I don’t really like to talk about my bracket,” he said. “I love basketball, love playing and watching, play pickup, but I was better at tennis than basketball.”
2017 Miami Open
When: Through April 2.
Where: Tennis Center at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne.
Who: 96 men, 96 women in singles. 32 men’s, women’s doubles teams.
Headliners: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.
Defending champions: Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka.
TV: ESPN2, Tennis Channel
Prize money: Singles winners make $1.175 million, runners-up $573,680, semifinalists $287,515, quarterfinalists $146,575.
Parking: General parking ($15) across from Seaquarium, pass holders park in Crandon Park beach lots.
Food options include: Crepe Express, Sushi Maki, Burrito Workshop, Marketplace Salads, The Knife, Puntino Pizzeria, All-American Classic, Bacardi Bar/Latin Café, Juan Valdez Café, Moet & Chandon Champagne and Sushi, Ben & Jerry’s, Food Trucks, Grey Goose Lounge.
Taxi service: Located at the entrance to Lot 3, which is located directly across from the Main Gate entrance to the site.
Bicycle racks: Located in Lot 4, which is across from the Main Gate entrance to the site and are complimentary.
Will Call or guest pick-up/drop-off: Lot 6 — located just prior to the Main Gate entrance to the site.
Brickell Metro-Rail Service: Please utilize the bus stand, located at the Main Gate entrance for Metro-Rail services.
Metro Bus 102 Route B will provide transportation to the tournament.