Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Star field for Miami's 'Slam'.
Clijsters' run in 2010 included wins, in turn, over Petra Kvitova, Shahar Peer, Victoria Azarenka, Samantha Stosur, Justine Henin and finally Venus Williams. Notwithstanding her first round bye, it was arguably a more impressive feat than her sweep through Flushing Meadows later in the year.
With the exception of recently-retired Henin, all of those players will be back this time - and more of a threat than ever. After a great swing Down Under, Kvitova is the most recent addition to the Top 20, while Stosur is firmly established in the Top 10 and Peer is knocking on the door of that elite.
Indeed, 74 of the Top 75 women will be present in Miami - including five-time champion Serena Williams. Also in the mix at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park: three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, current world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, third-ranked Vera Zvonareva, and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
As well as top-flight tennis, not for nothing is the Sony Ericsson Open known as the 'Glam Slam'. High fashion, fine food, fabulous shopping and celebrity musical performances have given the tournament a reputation as the most glamorous on tour. This year will be no different.
Some of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports have become familiar faces at the tennis fiesta: think Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Kim Kardashian, Anna Wintour, Jimmy Buffett, Shakira, Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Sanz, Kelly Rowland, Enrique Iglesias, Anna Kournikova, Jack Nicklaus, Dwyane Wade, Terrell Owens and Helio Castroneves.
Women's main draw action begins on March 22, with the singles final set for Saturday, April 2. Making up the 96-strong draw, there will be 12 qualifiers and eight wildcards.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.sonyericssonopen.com.