Roger Federer, Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal scheduled to play Miami Open

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Michelle Kaufman
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Miami Open announced Thursday its acceptance list for the upcoming 2021 tournament, and the biggest news is that 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is among the players listed.

The Swiss superstar, who has undergone two right knee operations in the past year, last played on January 30, 2020, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals. He is scheduled to make his long-awaited return at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, which begins March 8.

If all the players on the acceptance list show up, which is unknown, especially during the pandemic, the Miami Open field would boast 21 players with a combined 116 career Grand Slam singles titles, including Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and reigning Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.

All the top 77 ranked men and 75 of the top 78 ranked women are on the acceptance list for the Miami Open, which will be held for the second time at Hard Rock Stadium. It runs March 22 to April 4.

Federer, the 2019 Miami Open champion, and Djokovic, a six-time winner in Miami, lead a men’s field that includes 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal. The tournament will also feature the next generation of stars including 2021 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, 2020 US Open Champion Dominic Thiem, 2019 ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, world No. 7 Alexander Zverev and entertaining Australian star Nick Kyrgios.

Stan Wawrinka and 2018 Miami Open champion John Isner are also on the list.

The women’s field is led by Osaka, who just won her fourth Grand Slam title in Australia, and 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who has won eight titles in Miami. World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, the 2019 Miami Open champion, will be back to defend her title. The tournament was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Other top women in the field include: 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek, 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko, and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Other players to watch include Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady, 2019 Miami Open finalist Karolina Pliskova, World No. 4 and Pembroke Pines native, Sofia Kenin and American, Madison Keys.

Among the teenagers to watch are two South Florida residents — 19-year-old Amanda Anisimova from Aventura and 16-year-old Coco Gauff from Delray Beach. Both won their first WTA singles titles in 2019.

A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend, per COVID-19 restrictions. Approximately 15 percent of the Grandstand Court capacity, or roughly 750 seats per session, will be available. The Grandstand will be the marquee court this year, as the tournament announced it will not have a Center Court inside the stadium, as it did two years ago.

One of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments during the past 35 years, the Miami Open typically draws crowds of 300,000-plus over the two weeks. In 2019, the first year the event moved from Key Biscayne to Hard Rock Stadium, the total attendance was 388,734.

Full tournament packages will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 4. Fans can go online to www.miamiopen.com for more information.

Qualifying rounds are March 22-23 and will determine 12 additional slots in each singles’ draw. The Miami Open also will award wildcards to five men and eight women. The women’s main draw begins on Tuesday, March 23, followed by the first round of the men’s main draw on Wednesday, March 24.