Nadal, Federer bring box-office boost to Miami
Miami: After missing last year`s Sony Open, both world number one Rafa Nadal and 17-times grand slam winner Roger Federer return to South Beach this week along with their box office punch.
There will be no shortage of tennis glitterati around Miami for the next fortnight with 19 of the top 20 men`s and women`s players in action at Crandon Park but perhaps none more welcome than Federer and Nadal as their absence last year left a hole that could not be filled.
Nadal and Federer are box office gold for any tournament and with the Spaniard missing due to a knee injury and the Swiss maestro on an extended break last year`s attendance dropped 5.5 percent to 308,000.
"Anytime you have two stars the size of Roger and Rafa, guys who are bigger than the sport, bigger than tennis, missing it hurts," tournament director Adam Barrett told Reuters on Monday.
"These guys are superstars, they draw crowds whether they are at the airport, a hotel or walking through a mall.
"Anywhere they go they are going to bring additional crowds both tennis and non-tennis folks."
With a promising weather forecast and lineup that includes world number one Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, defending men`s champion Andy Murray and three-time winner Novak Djokovic the Sony Open could set record ticket sales this year.
"A lot of it has to do with how the draw unfolds," Barrett said about a possible attendance record. "A lot of years when you set record attendance you get intriguing matches.
"Every year you wait, you let it unfold, we will be close to records every year. The only thing that really takes records out of the equation is rain."
The women`s main draw gets underway with first-round matches on Tuesday while the men`s main draw begins Wednesday.
After a first-round bye, Nadal will open action against the winner of Dutchman Robin Haase and Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who will be chasing his 600th career win.
Third-seeded Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka along with big hitters Canadian Milos Raonic and American John Isner lurk as danger men.
But it is the bottom half of the draw where the real intrigue lies with world number two Djokovic, fresh off a win at Indian Wells, two-time winner Federer and holder Murray all eager to add another Miami title to their resumes.
For Murray, who maintains a residence in Miami, the Sony Open will be a bit of a home game but his road back to the final is a daunting one with a possible last-eight clash with Djokovic and a semi-final meeting with a re-energised fifth seed Federer, coming off a runner-up finish in Indian Wells.
Williams, a six-time winner in Miami, will open her title defence in the second round against either Italian Francesca Schiavone or Kazakhstan`s Yaroslava Shvedova.
Fourth seed Sharapova is on the same side of the draw as Williams along with in-form Italian Flavia Pennetta, who is carrying the momentum from her victory at Indian Wells.
The other side of the draw features second-seeded Australian Open champion Li Na of China, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, the 2012 champion and runner-up at Indian Wells, and Venus Williams, who has three Sony titles in her trophy case.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Five unmanned parachutes spotted over Mumbai airport
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- CBSE 12th Result 2015 to be announced on Monday
- Organisation demands re-examination of AIPMT 2015
- Death threat to PM Narendra Modi ahead of Mathura rally sends police into tizzy
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- CBSE Class 12th Board Results 2015 to be announced on Monday, May 25
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- No alliance with JD-U in Bihar: BJP
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others as Gujjar agitation continues