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High Notes for the Past Ten Champions at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami 3

Posted on March 21, 2011 by JA Allen

The Sony Ericsson Open gets underway this week in Miami.

The blueprint for the Sony Ericsson Open existed long before the tournament materialized as part of the tennis landscape in the United States––more specifically in Miami.

The man who pursued the dream and saw it through to its often-complicated conclusion was Butch Buchholtz, a former tennis pro who toured with such notables as Pancho Gonzalez and Jack Kramer back in the 1960s.

On February 4, 1985 after years of negotiations with the ATP and WTA, the first ball was served in a combined tennis event called the International Players Championships sponsored by Lipton.

Tim Mayotte and Martina Navratilova were its first two winners. In fact the final featured Chris Evert and Navratilova and the stands were jam-packed.

The inaugural tournament was held at Delray Beach.

After relocating a few times, the tournament finally settled in the newly constructed Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Miami-Dade Country in 1989. In 1994 came the addition of a $20 million permanent stadium.

Andre Agassi holds the record for the men having won this title six times in his career.  The next closest male is Pete Sampras who won this title three times.  Ivan Lendl won the title twice.

Current players Andy Roddick and Roger Federer have also won this title twice.

Current top seed and top-ranked Rafael Nadal has never won the title at the Sony Ericsson Open.  Perhaps this year?

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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