Reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki posted to her 3.1 million social media followers that her family members were threatened by fans while they watched her lose her second-round match 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Monica Puig at the Miami Open late Friday night.
Wozniacki, who wished Puig, a Puerto Rican who grew up in Miami, further success in the tournament, said in her post:
“During the match last night, people in the crowd threatened my family, wished death upon my mom and dad, called me names that I can’t repeat here and told my fiance’s niece and nephew (who are 10 years old) to sit down and shut the [expletive] up, meanwhile security and staff did nothing to prevent this and even accepted this to take place,” Wozniacki wrote.
“I hope the Miami Open chooses to take this seriously because it’s a horrible example to set for the next generation of tennis players and fans.”
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On Saturday, James Blake, in his debut year as the Miami Open tournament director, released a statement regarding Wozniacki’s concern.
“The security of the players is our No. 1 priority,” Blake said. “Last night’s match between Caroline and Monica was played in front of a loud and passionate crowd.
“While I personally feel that no one should have to endure any sort of abuse on the court, we do our best to provide a safe and fair environment. During the match, we had tournament and WTA staff as well as tournament security courtside.
“ They never witnessed, nor were they notified of any specific threats made to the players or their families. If we had been notified, the situation would have been handled immediately.”
Tiafoe on a roll
South Florida continues to be a winning playground for American Frances Tiafoe, who upset 21st-seeded Kyle Edmund in a nail-biter 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) second-round match on Saturday.
Last month, Tiafoe won his first career ATP title at the Delray Beach Open. That first title victory bolstered the 63rd-ranked Tiafoe’s confidence, which was evident when he broke Edmund’s serve when the Briton was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
“It’s huge. It’s everything,” said Tiafoe, of being self-assured. “Delray taught me a lot. I beat some quality players back-to-back-to-back, which I’ve never done.
“I’ve played so many matches in my career where I played unbelievable, came up just short. Now I’m feeling really comfortable when it gets tight. I actually embrace it, I want it.”
Red Carpet Ready
Being the reigning Wimbledon champion often opens doors to a variety of exclusive opportunities as Spain’s Garbine Muguruza recently discovered.
A two-time Grand Slam champion, Muguruza enjoyed one of those special experiences when she attended the Academy Awards last month, even getting to walk the preshow celebrity red carpet.
“I just got invited by Rolex,” said Muguruza, who was scheduled to play the last Saturday night match against American Christina McHale. “It’s one of these things that probably is once-in-a-lifetime that you’re going to be part of that show, and I didn’t want to miss it.”
Muguruza’s description of the most famous of Hollywood evenings: “It was long. It was incredible, especially the red carpet, and to see the whole setup, and all these people, and then seeing the awards. You normally see it on TV and you’re like, ‘Oh, imagine to get to be there.’ And I got to be there.”
As for Muguruza’s favorite of the nominated movies it was “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
But she admitted she tends to “always sees the movies that are never nominated.”