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Miami Open to replace Sony Open

MIAMI -- South Florida's biggest tennis tournament is being renamed.

The annual event on Key Biscayne will be known for the next five years as The Miami Open. The Latin American bank Itau is taking over as the event's presenting sponsor.

The tournament had most recently been called the Sony Open. Sony had been in the tournament's name since 2007.

Organizers are hoping to upgrade the tennis facility, with plans -- which have been met with some resistance and led to ongoing court battles -- calling for expansion of the main stadium and other improvements around the grounds.

"We plan on building the future together regardless of what happens there," tournament director Adam Barrett said. "We're committed to the event, we're committed to building the event, we're committed to making improvements every year for both the players, our sponsors and our guests."

One of the top tournaments outside of the Grand Slams, the event started in Delray Beach, Florida in 1985, moved to Boca Raton the following year and then came to Key Biscayne. More than 300,000 tickets are sold annually and matches are broadcast to 193 countries.

"It's an incredible tournament with so much history," women's star Maria Sharapova said in a video promoting the announcement.

Next year's tournament is March 23-April 5. Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams won the titles on Key Biscayne this year.