WATCH: Gauff made quick work of Rebecca Marino to advance at the Miami Open on Thursday.


MIAMI—Carlos Alcaraz and Jimmy Butler completed their athletic cultural exchange this week when the newly-minted world No. 1 took in a Miami Heat game at the Miami-Dade Arena Wednesday evening.

Alcaraz first met Butler earlier this year when the Miami Heat forward watched the Spanish teenager enjoy a straightforward win over Bernabe Zapata Miralles in Buenos Aires.

“I have seen him play several times,” Alcaraz said in a report from the ATP Tour at the time. “I have a lot of respect for him, after all he is a legend of his sport, a star and to have him come to see me is a privilege.


Butler put the ball back in Alcaraz’s proverbial court on Thursday by journeying to the Hard Rock Stadium for some Miami Open action, settling in to watch both Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff advance in their opening rounds.

Bills Mafia was also in full force as Kaiir Elam and Dion Dawkins caught up with Pegula after her victory, as well:


Might Alcaraz hope for Butler to make a return trip for his first match against Facundo Bagnis on Friday? Maybe more likely he bets on the defending champion to stick around for next week’s final.