Serena Williams Withdraws From Miami OpenJake Cooper | 24 Mar 2021
Record Grand Slams-winner and singles superstar Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2021 Miami Open, which got underway on Monday. Williams, who has won the Miami Open a record eight times, and who describes the tournament as special and “home”, withdrew from the event following oral surgery.
Williams sadly joins several other big tennis names recently withdrawn from the tournament, including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, and Rafael Nadal.
Event Keeps Tennis Relevant
According to tournament director James Blake, himself a former quarterfinalist, pulling off the event despite several big-name absences, not to mention the challenges posed by the global health crisis, is a significant testament to the team as well as those players who did opt to participate.
Blake said the general consensus was that it was important to host the event in support of keeping tennis relevant – especially during this challenging time.
Some have actually criticized the big-name players for skipping out on the event, while several more have defended their reasons for sitting out. According to Gilles Simon, who probably speaks for many, he had decided to skip several tournaments because of “pandemic fatigue” experienced resulting from harrowing and restricted playing and travel conditions.
And according to Davis Goffin, since Indian Wells has been removed from this year’s calendar, it did not make much sense too many to go through the motions of travelling to the US for only one tournament. Even so, Goffin said he’ll be playing in Miami after all, since it remains a Master’s 1000, after all.
World No. 2 Is In Miami
A player who has opted to travel to Miami for the big event is none other than world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, who recently became the first player outside of Djokovic, Murray, Federer or Nadal to hold the prestigious ranking of No. 2.
This year’s event will offer no general admission, and only very limited seating. What’s more, due to health and safety concerns and protocols, fans will only be allowed to spectate at outer-court matches. The tournament, which typically draws over 300,000 spectators over 2 weeks, will this year only accommodate between 800 and 1,000 fans per session. Also, only one-tenth of the usual media passes have been issued this year. All interviews will be conducted virtually.
Players as well as their support teams are staying in two tournament-selected hotels in Miami, both of which have been bio-bubbled.