WASHINGTON, December 6, 2019 (by Michael Dickens)
Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old American teen sensation who garnered worldwide attention during this summer’s Wimbledon Championships with a first-round upset victory over her idol, five-time champion Venus Williams, announced she is returning to play in next year’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C.
The Citi Open, one of five U.S. tournaments that features both ATP and WTA singles and doubles draws, will be held at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in northwest Washington from Aug. 1-9, 2020. The Citi Open will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the women’s event.
“I’m super excited to announce that I’m coming back to D.C. to play the Citi Open,” Gauff said in a statement released by the Citi Open Thursday. “I hope I’m able to defend my doubles title with Caty (McNally). I’m excited to be back in the capital of my home country. I definitely had a lot of fun … and I hope I can do it again.”
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) December 5, 2019
Gauff debuted at this year’s Citi Open to much fanfare and buzz on the heels of her impressive run at Wimbledon, in which she reached the fourth round after becoming the youngest woman to qualify for the Championships in the Open Era. She became the youngest player to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since 1991 before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep. Her qualifying draw matches on the main stadium court generated a noticeable buzz around the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center and one of those qualifying sessions sold out.
Gauff, who turns 16 next March and will be permitted by WTA Tour rules to compete in more events, will play both singles and doubles at the 2020 Citi Open.
“Seeing the energy and excitement that Coco brought to our Citi Open fans and community last summer was one of the highlights of the tournament, so we are thrilled to welcome her back in 2020,” said Mark Ein, owner of MDE Tennis and manager of the Citi Open, in a statement. “Around the world, people are witnessing that Coco is a compelling talent and personality on the court and a wonderful representative of our sport off the court. She is certainly a big part of the future of tennis and the perfect headliner to help us commemorate the tenth anniversary of the addition of the women’s tournament to the Citi Open.”
Gauff, who reached the third round of the US Open and made her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut in a 6-3, 6-0 loss to then-No. 1 Naomi Osaka, won her first WTA singles title in October at Linz, Austria. She and Caty McNally won two WTA doubles titles, at the Citi Open and at Luxembourg. After starting the year ranked No. 685 in singles, Gauff finished the year with career-best rankings in both singles (No. 68) and doubles (No. 76), and is the youngest player ranked inside the Top 100. She is a nominee for the WTA’s Newcomer of the Year award, which will be announced on Dec. 11.