SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Seven-Time Grand Slam Champ Venus Williams Plays Early at Sony Ericsson Open
Venus Williams, Fernando Gonzalez and others granted main draw wildcards
MIAMI, Fla. (www.sonyericssonopen.com) – The 2012 Sony Ericsson Open announced the complete wildcard entries into the main draw for this year’s tournament. Three-time Sony Ericsson Open winner Venus Williams joins 12 other entrants, for a chance to claim the Sony Ericsson Open title.
The women’s main draw begins on Tuesday, March 20, while the men’s main draw kicks off the following day on Wednesday, March 21. The qualifying rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 19 and 20.
Tickets to the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open are still available and can be purchased by phone (305-442-3367) or via internet at www.sonyericssonopen.com. An electrifying two weeks of tennis concludes with the women’s final on Saturday, March 31 and the men’s final on Sunday, April 1.
Fans typically have to wait until the end of opening week to catch Williams in action, but this year’s tournament will see Williams play on either Tuesday, March 20 or Wednesday, March 21. Other big names will play earlier in the week, including Fernando Gonzalez, who will retire after is Sony Ericsson Open run.
Williams plans to make her 2012 debut in Miami, hoping to regain the form that saw her claim three Sony Ericsson Open titles (2001, 1999, 1998). The seven-time Grand Slam champion last appeared on the purple courts in 2010 where she played her way into the final. She has battled through injuries and illnesses this past year, and has not played since the US Open in August.
“I am looking forward to my return to competitive tennis at the Sony Ericsson Open,” said Williams. “I have spent most of my life in Southern Florida and view the Sony Ericsson Open as a hometown event. I have had many great experiences playing there and look forward to returning in the coming weeks.”
Gonzalez, a winner of 11 career ATP World Tour Titles, made his professional debut in 1999. In 2007, Gonzalez attained a career high No. 5 ranking after reaching the Australian Open final, in which he posted wins over Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal. He has also had success on the Olympic stage, receiving a bronze medal in singles and gold in doubles with Nicolas Massu at the 2004 Athens games, and a silver medal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Gonzalez has announced his plans to retire at the conclusion of this year’s Sony Ericsson Open.
Additional wildcard entries into the Sony Ericsson Open Main Draw were extended to Ryan Harrison (USA), Jesse Levine (USA), Denis Kudla (USA), Marinko Matosevic (AUS), Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN), Olivia Rogowska (AUS), Alisa Kleybanova (RUS), Bojana Jovanovski (SRB), Heather Watson (GBR), Garbine Muguruza Blanco (ESP) and Zhang Shuai (CHN).
ABOUT THE SONY ERICSSON OPEN: The 2012 Sony Ericsson Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami. The two-week combined event, founded by Butch Buchholz in 1985, is owned and operated by IMG. The Sony Ericsson Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world. In 2011 Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal for his second Sony Ericsson Open title, while Victoria Azarenka knocked off Maria Sharapova to capture her second title in Miami. For ticket information, call (305) 442-3367 or visit the website at www.SonyEricssonOpen.com.
ABOUT SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS: Sony Mobile Communications is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation, a leading global innovator of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Through its Xperia™ smartphone portfolio, Sony Mobile Communications delivers the best of Sony technology, premium content and services, and easy connectivity to Sony’s world of networked entertainment experiences. For more information: www.sonymobile.com
ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.
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