Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic say it was 'bold' decision to move Miami Open
Djokovic: "They've done something that wasn't done before so they are pioneers in a way"
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 21/03/19 5:45pm
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have said it was a "bold" decision by organisers to move the Miami Open from Crandon Park to the Hard Rock Stadium complex.
Miami-Dade County commissioners unanimously approved an agreement in December 2017 which allowed the tournament to leave its longtime home on Key Biscayne.
On Wednesday, the official opening took place with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem all looking ahead to the tournament which will take place at the Miami Dolphins' stadium for the first time.
Federer has won three Miami titles, all of which were won at Key Biscayne, where the tournament was played for 32 years.
It's fresh, it's new, it's bold and it's a big move.
Roger Federer on Miami Open move
"It's a big change, a big deal for tennis," said the Swiss, who is making his 18th appearance at the event. "Moving away from Key Biscayne which is an iconic place in many ways for me but also especially for the tour. Its hosted all the best players over the last decades there and I think fans and players all enjoyed the drive out to Key Biscayne over the bridge and seeing the nice water.
"The change is different. It's a totally different feel here. The stadium is massive. It's a stadium within a stadium so I think it's really exciting. It's fresh, it's new, it's bold and it's a big move. I understand why the move has been made. Seeing Indian Wells grow (but) in Miami, the site in Key Biscayne not being able to grow and I think them (ATP tour) wanting to change things up again as well."
Djokovic is seeking a seventh title at this event and the Serb appeared to be pleased with the decision to switch locations.
"I don't think we expected this but it's a nice surprise and a bold move," said the world No 1. "Very courageous from the organisation to take it to a football stadium. They've done something that wasn't done before so they are pioneers in a way."
Indian Wells champion Dominic Thiem added: "It feels great of course but also feels very nice to explore a new site. It doesn't happen that often that we get to know new sites and this one is impressive and huge. Something very new and unique to have a stadium in a stadium so it's very nice and I came here very happy."
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