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Miami Open: Rain continues to hamper proceedings

Prior to the start of the tournament, officials had boasted a 25 percent jump in ticket sales but the stands have been mostly empty through two days with only one of four sessions completed.

Miami Open: Rain continues to hamper proceedings
Image Credits: Twitter/@MiamiOpen

Rain again spoiled the Miami Open party wiping out the evening session on Wednesday and adding to what has been a soggy kickoff to a tournament looking for a new start.

A move from the cramped Crandon Park on picturesque Key Biscayne to the wide open spaces at Hard Rock Stadium was expected to provide the Miami Open with a bright future. But so far dark storm clouds have cast a wet shadow over proceedings.

Prior to the start of the tournament, officials had boasted a 25 percent jump in ticket sales but the stands have been mostly empty through two days with only one of four sessions completed.

Organisers have now been left with a backlog of matches to schedule and sending out refunds.

Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu, who claimed a stunning victory at Indian Wells on Sunday, was to be the headliner on the opening day but never made it onto the 13,800-seat stadium court to face Romania`s Irina-Camelia Begu.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting earlier in the day under sunny skies involving Serena Williams, Roger Federer and world number ones Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic, action got underway with three-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka defeating Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 3-6 6-4.

"I think the stadium is beautiful. I think the logistics here work out pretty well," said Azarenka, a former world number one.

"I feel the expansion of the tournament was, first of all, really necessary. There is a lot more room. There are a lot of better facilities. So I`m pretty happy."

Before the rain began 17-year-old American hope Amanda Anisimova gave the small crowd something to cheer about as she romped into the second round with 6-4 6-3 win over Germany`s Andrea Petkovic.

Before Andreescu grabbed the spotlight, Anisimova had appeared to be the teenager to watch after she started 2019 with a run to the quarter-finals in Auckland and a fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open.