Miami Open 2019, Azarenka vs Cibulkova in the opening round
Miami Open 2019, Azarenka vs Cibulkova in the opening round

The Miami Open 2019 has taken off in the south-easternmost American state of Florida. Besides the turquoise waters, dolphins and sea breeze from Key Biscayne, the 34-year-old tournament will be adding another element to its picturesque. The second tournament of the ‘Sunshine Double’, Miami Open welcomes its new home, Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami Open 2019, Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Open 2019, Hard Rock Stadium

About an expenditure of $500 million was invested for the renovation of the Miami Open 2019 stadium. The restoration of the stadium incorporates, 29 permanent tournament and practice courts and a larger parking area. In the earlier one, Tennis Center at Crandon Park where the matches took place until the year 2018, was denounced for having the slowest hardcourt on the tour. The everlasting rallies were accompanied by heat and humidity. Last year, the champions in the all the four categories were Americans, except the Australian, Ashleigh Barty in the women’s doubles group.

Miami Open 2019
Miami Champion, Victoria Azarenka

The Belarusian, Victoria Azarenka and the Slovak, Dominika Cibulkova will be inaugurating the revamped arena of the Miami Open 2019, the Hard Rock Stadium. This year, Azarenka reached the quarterfinals in Mexico and later dispatched her compatriot Vera Lapko in the opening round of the Indian Wells 2019 before losing a rollercoaster second round match to Serena Williams in California.

However, in the year 2016, she became the third player, after Steffi Graf and Kim Clijsters to cliched the ‘Sunshine Double’ crown and that makes her a three-time champion in Miami. In the desert, Cibulkova was ousted by the eventual champion, Bianca Andreescu in her opening round and this year she has just recorded a match victory in Dubai and Azarenka has won four matches in the 2019 season.

The newly-minted Canadian teenager, Andreescu will be seen in action during the night session. Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep are the top two seeds in the Miami Open 2019 draw and the defending champion, Sloane Stephens is seeded fourth with Petra Kvitova on third.