The first All-Williams final was presented by Key Biscayne, who also won a point against Agassi as a ballgirl.

Portrait of Steffi Graf after winning her Women’s Singles Final match at the ATP Lipton Tennis Championship on 30 March 1988 at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida, United States

 

Over the previous 31 years, countless tennis enthusiasts have marveled at the breathtaking scenery and driven the Rickenbacker Causeway, sometimes at a snail’s pace due to heavy traffic, all in order to watch the world’s top players compete at the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

Time is almost up for that yearly spring migration onto Key Biscayne.

After several name changes, including Lipton, Ericsson, NASDAQ-100, Sony Ericsson, and Miami Open, the esteemed competition will relocate to Hard Rock Stadium at the end of this year. This week marks the start of the event’s final Key Biscayne edition. Here’s a look back at its history and some of its most memorable moments.

In 1980, it all started with a talk between two brothers. A Grand Slam-style competition called “Winter Wimbledon” was the brainchild of Butch Buchholz and his brother Cliff, who wanted to start the season (the Australian Open was held in December at the time). Lipton’s decision to become a title sponsor gave Butch the go-ahead to take on the role of executive director for the players’ union, the Association of Tennis Professionals.

In 1985, the Lipton International Players Championships were introduced at Rod Laver’s tennis resort in Delray Beach, which Buchholz was unaware was about to close.

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