The Sony Ericsson Open 2012

Serena Williams reacts after loosing a point in her match against Flavia Pennetta during the third-round of the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne. Photo by J. Pat Carter

It’s arguably the best tournament of the year in South Florida. You’re outdoors, in the sun, and watching some of the world’s top tennis players. Plus – you get to see hotty Rafael Nadal. OK, maybe that’s just for me. This event never fails to dissappoint and it probably won’t this year, either. It all starts Mar. 19 through Apr. 1 in Key Biscayne.

  • How to get there

From the South: Take US-1 North and go right at the US-1/I-95 fork. Merge to the right and take a left at the second stop light. Go over the tolls ($1) and continue straight until you see signs for parking.

From the North: Exit onto Key Biscayne (Exit 1) off of I-95 South and continue straight through traffic signal until road bears left. Go over the tolls ($1) and continue straight until you see signs for parking.

From Brickell Avenue: Take US-1 South and turn left at the large intersection of the Rickenbacker toll both ($1). Continue straight until you see signs for parking.

From the West: Take 836 East to the I-95 South exit, then follow From the North directions.

From South Beach: Take I-195 or I-395 West to I-95, then follow From the North directions.

  • Parking

It’s $10 per day, and $125 for the championship series package booklet (the latter of which you have to purchase by calling the ticket office). From CocoWalk, you can take a shuttle that departs every two hours starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m. Thirty minutes before pickup, the shuttle makes stops at the Doubletree Grand/Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental Hotel, Sheraton Key Biscayne and Doubletree Coconut Grove Hotel.

  • Weather report

In Miami, you never know what’s in store. We can predict it will be hot and uncomfortable, but let’s ask the professionals: Click here for the forecast.

  • Star Power Sizzling

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are ranked 2 and 3 respectively, with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic sitting pretty on the top. Maria Sharapova is ranked third on the women’s roster with Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka ahead. Serena Williams is the top-ranked American female, at number 12 and always excites the crowds with her flamboyant wardrobe. The 2012 Sony Ericsson Open recently announced that has extended a main draw wildcard to Serena’s sister Venus Williams and to WTA former World No. 20 Alisa Kleybanova, recently recovered from a battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphona. Everyone loves a comeback story.

  • The draws

Draws have yet to be announced, but the schedules are available.

  • Tickets

Ticket prices range from $7 for the Single’s Qualifying rounds to $465 for Women’s Singles finals. It all depends on how close you are to the court, but tickets run $20-$55 for regular seats and $120-$465 for VIP area. Tickets for the VIP section of the Men’s Singles semifinals and Women’s Doubles seminfinals are gone, but you can still find a few tickets up in the nosebleed area.

  • The food

This isn’t the ballpark. Typically, there are always good choices at the Sony and this year is no different. You have a choice of: crepes, grilled mahi mahi, sushi, salads, rib eye steak sandwiches, pizza, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and more. If you’re interested in Kobe beef sliders, Seared beef carpaccio, roasted lamb chops or seared tuna steak then make a run for The Collector’s Club – an upscale exclusive venue featuring gourmet food, a sushi bar and a trendy lounge area (of course, all at an extra cost).



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