Verdasco confirms Miami absence
Fernando Verdasco says he has chosen not to play at the Miami Open as his wife is about to give birth to their first son.
The event at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, which was won by American John Isner last year, gets underway on Wednesday and another star-studded line-up is ready to do battle for the title.
However, world number 35 Verdasco, who also skipped the Indian Wells Masters, will not be appearing after confirming he is spending some time at home with his pregnant wife.
The 35-year-old Spaniard is expected to return to action in Marrakech on clay next month as preparations will be ramping up for the French Open at Roland Garros.
Verdasco, who has never made it to the final of a Grand Slam event, last played at the Dubai Championship where he lost to eventual winner Roger Federer in a three-set second round.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.