The Miami Open will be the first 1000 event to have wheelchair and pickleball events being played.
It is just over a month until the opening two ATP Masters 1000 and third and fourth WTA 1000 events of 2024. These are in Indian Wells and Miami, commonly called the "Sunshine Double."
The entry lists for the first two Masters tournaments are always packed with top players. For example, Venus Williams recently said she hopes to play at both events. This is after the injury hiatus she has been on.
In addition, the Miami Open is also part of Naomi Osaka's planned schedule. The four-time Grand Slam champion returned to tennis this year after being away on maternity leave and will hope to build further form in Miami.
The singles and doubles on the men's and women's sides are always entertaining, but the tournament in Miami has added two further events for fans to enjoy in 2024.
Firstly, wheelchair players will feature for the first time ever at a Masters 1000 event. This is a wonderful recognition of wheelchair players and what they bring to tennis.
Wheelchair tennis is played at all four Grand Slams, but its influence is clearly spreading. It will be interesting to observe whether other Masters 1000 events follow suit in the coming years.
Secondly, a pickleball event has been added to a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time. It is a sport that has been growing, and this addition in Miami proves this beyond doubt.
Some tennis legends have played pickleball in recent years. This includes Andre Agassi, who hilariously mocked John McEnroe before Pickleball Slam 2. The pair also played in the first edition of the Pickleball Slam.
These two inclusions from the Miami Open will make the tournament more diverse, and give more viewing options for fans attending the event in March.