WASHINGTON, June 18, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
“Tennis Restarts In DC!” exclaims a Citi Open image that is posted on the tournament’s social media channels.
The ATP Tour will restart the locked down 2020 season with the Citi Open at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in northwest Washington, D.C., from Aug. 13-21.
“After what will be a five-month shutdown, we are thrilled that pro tennis will resume in Washington, D.C., at the 2020 Citi Open,” said Mark Ein, Citi Open tournament chairman and CEO of MDE Tennis, in a statement Wednesday. “Our team has completed an exhaustive effort to explore, design and refine the health and safety protocols necessary to host the event. After this extensive collaboration with a full range of our stakeholders, it is an extraordinary and unexpected honor to host the comeback of our great sport right here in our backyard.”
The Citi Open represents the ATP Tour’s first sanctioned event since February and it will mark the end of the longest hiatus in tennis’s Open Era. Currently, the Citi Open is in conversations with the WTA Tour about returning to Washington the same week. The Citi Open has hosted a combined ATP 500/WTA International event since 2012. The men’s tournament dates back to 1969 and marks the 52nd consecutive the Citi Open will be played in its original home at Rock Creek Park. Australia’s Nick Kyrgios won the 2019 men’s singles title.
2020 Citi Open August 13.
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) June 17, 2020
“This has been a very tough year for so many people in our community and our nation, and we hope the return of a great Washington summer tradition will give people something to look forward to,” said Ein, who is beginning his second year as Citi Open tournament chairman. “Building on the event’s long charitable history, we are planing to use the tournament to help some of those people most impacted and shine a light on some of our many local heroes.”
According to Ein, the Citi Open is working closely with local Washington officials on the health and safety plan in order to secure all of the necessary permits and approvals for the event. Currently, the Citi Open will go on without fans in attendance, but officials remain optimistic that as the region continues in its phased reopening of the District – and if conditions improve – they may be granted permission to allow limited fans on the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center site.
According to a statement, if a limited number of fans are allowed at this year’s Citi Open, top priority would go to series ticket holders who have already paid their deposits.
Tennis Channel will broadcast first ball to last ball coverage of this year’s Citi Open.