Sony Open 2014 – the perfect excuse to visit Florida

Tennis and high temps at the Miami Masters

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Kai Sedgwick

Kai Sedgwick
HomeAway travel expert

Miami MastersThe Miami Masters is a glamorous tennis tournament held each year in Florida’s Key Biscayne. So why is it now being referred to as the Sony Open? That’ll be on account of the sponsors who, in fairness, are stumping up a large sum of money for the privilege. Money that, in turn, brings the world’s top players to this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.

The small island of Key Biscayne, where the March tournament is held, lies just south of Miami Beach. The perfect setting then for ticking off all the other items on your Miami to-do list: hit the beach, hit the shops and hit the surf. Head to Miami for the Sony Open and you’ll find that there’s much more to Florida than sunshine, OJ and amusement parks.


Miami Masters tennis


Schedule for the Sony Open 2014 Schedule for the Sony Open 2014

At this year’s Miami Masters, the action begins with the men’s and women’s qualifying singles on 17 March; the first round of the tournament starts two days later. The first quarter final ties take place on 24, followed by the semis four days later. The Sony Open is wrapped up with the women’s singles on Saturday 29 and the men’s event the following day. Doubles finals will also be held on the same weekend.

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Tickets for the Sony Open 2014 Tickets for the Sony Open 2014

Tickets for the Miami Masters can be purchased from the Sony Open website. If you plan to cram in as much tennis as possible, go for a Championship Series package. This promises tickets to every single match in the two-week tournament, plus access to the Champions Club Restaurant. Of course, there’s no obligation to spend a fortnight at the event – opening weekend packages are also available. Alternatively, stump up a little extra and you can get your hands on a final four package that will grant access to the exciting closing stages of the tournament.

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Sony Open 2014: What’s happening in Key Biscayne? Sony Open 2014: What’s happening in Key Biscayne?

Key Biscayne lies just over the Rickenbacker Causeway. It’s a short and scenic drive from Miami to the island where the Masters is hosted. Aside from tennis, the Key is best known for its beaches; what it may lack in size it more than makes up for in natural beauty. The terrain is sandy and the weather sunny, with palm trees dotted about the island’s circumference. Key Biscayne’s main attractions include a coastal barrier reef which can be reached with the aid of a boat and scuba gear. The expedition is well worth it, with the reef boasting "the only federally recognised underwater archeological trail in the US". Whatever that is, it sounds impressive.

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Sony Open 2014: Miami music Sony Open 2014: Miami music

From 28 - 30 March – around the same time as the Sony Open 2014 is reaching its finale – the mother of all music festivals will be taking place in Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami. ULTRA (all caps) attracts 50,000 revellers every day. The crowds throng to the park to watch big name DJs dropping big tunes in a big field. With an emphasis on EDM, ULTRA is very much ‘of the now’ – in other words you’ll either love or hate it. If you’ve got the energy, grab a day ticket and fill your ears with industrial techno, house, trance and wub-wub dubstep.

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Sony Open 2014: Miami nightlife Sony Open 2014: Miami nightlife

Sport is all well and good, but ultimately it’s just a means of passing the time until the sun goes down. News flash: Miami likes to party. Who doesn’t? It’s just that Miami’s parties are more decadent than most. Miami Beach, with its art deco hotels and cosmopolitan bars, attracts an international crowd, while downtown is packed with Latino bars and trendy rooftop spaces where cocktails are sipped as the sun sets. Away from the tourist spots, Mac’s Club Deuce and Purdy Lounge provide an authentic snapshot of local life: less glitz and more grit, with a diverse crowd of Americans, Cubans and Mexicans drinking long into the night.

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Main image © alvez
Image 1 © jikatu
Image 5 © zacklur

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