'Miami Open Experience' to feature food, fashion, volleyball

While Andrea Petkovic and Karolina Pliskova were on Stadium Court battling for a spot in the Miami Open semifinals, Mike and Bob Bryan – the doubles team most well-known as the Bryan Brothers – were answering questions from fans on the grounds of the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

Earlier in the day, Caroline Garcia was part of a WTA autograph session that gave tennis fans another opportunity to meet one of the athletes competing on South Florida's well-known purple courts.

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For years, the Miami Open has tried to make South Florida's premier tennis tournament an interactive experience for the fans who trek down to Key Biscayne, and tournament organizers are hoping to take that to the next level later in the week with the "Miami Open Experience," an entertainment event that will mix beach volleyball, fashion and a beach party featuring some well-known celebrity chefs along with the top-notch tennis that will be played during the tournament's home stretch.

Among the events scheduled to take place during the Miami Open Experience is a beach volleyball exhibition that will 12 of the world's top women and men's AVP players, including three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings, gold medalist Phil Dalhausser, Olympic silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, along with two-time Olympians Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, along with other athletes hoping to earn spots in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Play will start Thursday at 11 a.m. and will run through Saturday afternoon on the beach volleyball courts that are located on the west side of Stadium Court between Gates A and H.

Also Friday, fans attending the Miami Open will get the chance to catch a swimsuit fashion show featuring the designs of former model Tori Praver, while chefs Tom Colicchio, the host of Bravo's "Top Chef," Scott Conant, Josh Capon and local favorite Michelle Bernstein will appear as part of a Taste of the Open event. Friday will also feature an appearance by Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model Hannah Davis, who will be signing autographs and doing some hitting with Caroline Wozniacki.

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