WTA Returns To Washington D.C. This Summer

Citi Open, Washington D.C. (photo: Citi Open)

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

The Citi Open has been a Washington, D.C., institution since 1969 and has grown to become the fifth largest tennis event in the United States. On Friday, the Citi Open announced that after a two-year absence, it will once again host a WTA tournament in conjunction with its current ATP event.

The Citi Open, which will be held from July 30 through August 7 at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in northwest Washington, will become one of only five combined tour events in the country. It will feature competition from both the ATP (a 500-series event) and WTA (a 250-series event) tours.

“Our Washington, D.C. community has embraced professional women’s tennis since World TeamTennis first came here in 2008 and the Citi Open tournament hosted its first WTA event in 2011,” Citi Open Chairman Mark Ein said in a statement. “Our city and event attendees are avid women’s tennis fans, and tennis, uniquely among pro sports, showcases both genders on its biggest stages. Presenting a combined tournament with men’s and women’s players has always been the goal for the Citi Open.

“For the past two years, we have worked tirelessly to bring the Hologic WTA Tour back to our event and we are thrilled to announce both its return to D.C. this summer, as well as another big pro tournament coming back to the United States.”

In reviving the Citi Open WTA 250 event, it will celebrate its 10th edition this summer with a field of 32 singles competitors and 16 doubles team, and a pre-tournament 16-draw singles qualifying event.

The inaugural WTA event was staged in nearby College Park, Maryland, in 2011 and moved to the nation’s capital city in 2012. Past champions include current World No. 11 Jessica Pegula, 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and the doubles team of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

“I am delighted the Citi Open is returning to the WTA tennis calendar this summer,” Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The tournament and the Washington community have a rich history on the Hologic WTA Tour, with many of the game’s biggest names gracing the courts in previous editions in the nation’s capital. I am grateful to the tournament organizers for their support and for providing the world’s best women’s tennis players the opportunity to showcase their talent.”

For more than 50 years, the Citi Open has played host to top tennis talent in Rock Creek Park. The tournament was founded to support Arthur Ashe’s vision of playing a professional tennis event in a fully accessible public park. Under Ein’s stewardship, which began in 2019 when MDE Sports acquired management rights of the Citi Open from the Washington Tennis & Educational Foundation (WTEF), the Citi Open has continued to build and expand the event, with a goal of “positively impacting the Washington community and creating one of the best tennis events in the world.”

The WTEF, a longtime beneficiary of the Citi Open, capitalizes on the tournament each year for fundraising and has raised millions of dollars for youth programs in the Washington area.

Planning and player commitments are underway for the 2022 Citi Open. The defending men’s champion is Jannik Sinner, currently ranked World No. 12. The most recent women’s champion is Pegula, who won the title in 2019. Last year’s Citi Open, which featured 21-time major champion Rafael Nadal, was the most successful in the event’s history. It shattered previous attendance records and sold out all sessions throughout the event.

Citi Open notes

Full tournament packages are on sale now and can be purchased via email at tickets@mdetennis.com or by telephone at (202) 721-9500. Additional information about the tournament, including ticket options, player fields, event policies and more can be found at citiopentennis.com.