Pegula, Rublev Earn Citi Open Top Seeds

Jessica Pegula (photo: Mike Lawrence/Citi Open)

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

With this year’s Citi Open beckoning, the draw ceremony for both of the ATP 500 and WTA 250 events were held in the City Ridge Market Square at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center Friday afternoon.

Headlining the 48-player men’s draw is World No. 8 Andrey Rublev of Russia and World No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Atop the 32-player women’s draw is World No. 7 Jessica Pegula of the United States, the 2019 Citi Open champion, followed by World No. 10 Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, the reigning US Open champion.

Raducanu was on hand for the draw ceremony along with Citi Open chairman Mark Ein and Citi Open Stadium and Tennis Channel presenter Prakash Armitraj.

“I love being here in D.C.,” Raducanu said. “It’s my first time here. It’s becoming one of my favorite cities, I’ve got to say. I’ve got a really good feeling about this place.”

All 16 of the men’s seeded players are currently in the Top 40. Besides Rublev and Hurkacz, there’s No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz, ranked 12th; No. 4 seed Reilly Opelka, ranked 17th; No. 5 seed Grigor Dimitrov, ranked 18th; No. 6 seed Denis Shapovalov, ranked 21st; No. 7 seed Karen Khachanov, ranked 23rd; and No. 8 Botic van de Zandschulp, ranked 26th.

Also, No. 9 seed Holger Rune, ranked 27th; No. 10 seed Frances Tiafoe, ranked 29th; No. 11 seed Alex de Minaur, ranked 30th; No. 12 seed Sebastian Baez, ranked 32nd; No. 13 seed Maxime Cressy, ranked 34th; No. 14 seed Tommy Paul, ranked 36th; No. 15 seed Aslan Karatsev, ranked 37th; and No. 16 seed Daniel Evans, ranked 39th.

The men’s field also includes three-time major champion Andy Murray of Great Britain, who will face Mikael Ymer of Sweden in his opening match, and 2019 Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios, who will open against Marcos Giron of the United States. All four wild cards went to Americans: Stefan Kozlov, J.J. Wolf, Christopher Eubanks and Bradley Klahn.

There are eight seeds among the women’s field. Besides Pegula and Raducanu, there’s No. 3 seed Simona Halep, ranked 16th; No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka, ranked 20th; No. 5 seed Elise Mertens, ranked 30th; No. 6 seed Kaia Kanepi, ranked 36th; No. 7 seed Mayar Sherif, ranked 46th; and No. 8 seed Clara Tauson, ranked 47th.

Other notables in the women’s draw include seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams of the United States, who received a wild card and will meet a qualifier in the first round, and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who will open against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.

After a weekend of qualifying, the men’s and women’s singles main draws begin on Monday in northwest Washington, D.C., leading up to the title finals on Sunday, Aug. 7.

Following a first-round bye, men’s top seed Rublev will open with either Kozlov or Jack Draper of Great Britain, while No. 2 seed Hurkacz drew the winner between Mackenzie McDonald of the United States and Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland.

Meanwhile, women’s No. 1 seed Pegula drew American wild card Hailey Baptiste and No. 2 seed Raducanu will play Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

The men’s champion will receive first-prize money of $342,800 and 500 ATP Rankings points. The women’s titlist will earn $33,200 and 280 WTA Rankings points. The total prize-money commitment for the men’s tournament is $2,108,110 while the women’s tournament has total prize money of $251,750.

Citi Open notes

• The Citi Open announced Friday night that seven-time Grand Slam champion and tennis legend Venus Williams will headline Monday night in the Stadium at 7 p.m.

• The weekend qualifying sessions for Saturday and Sunday are sold out. A limited number of grounds passes for entry to watch matches on the outer courts (excluding the Stadium court) have been added.