District of Columbia

Citi Open Ready to Take the Court with Strongest Field in Tournament History

25 Jul, 2019

The player lineup for the 2019 Citi Open has it all. In what’s being heralded as the strongest field in tournament history, a mix of current champions, next-generation stars and fan favorites were announced today for the 2019 Citi Open, set for July 27-August 4, at Rock Creek Tennis Center.

The latest player entries include some of the most compelling stars from the ATP Tour, including Denis Shapovalov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Karen Khachanov, Milos Raonic, John Isner, Benoit Paire, Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev, Marin Cilic, Kyle Edmund and Tomas Berdych.

Top WTA players added to the Citi Open field include Madison Keys, Belinda Bencic, Sofia Kenin, Monica Puig and Genie Bouchard.

Today’s exceptional list of headliners join an already impressive group of players that were previously announced, including world No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kei Nishikori (No. 7), Kevin Anderson (No. 8), world No. 9 Sloane Stephens, 2016 Citi Open champion Gael Monfils, 2019 Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu, Australian fan favorite Nick Kyrgios and next-generation standouts, 18-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, and hometown favorite Frances Tiafoe of Hyattsville, Md.

“The talent level of the player lineup for this summer’s Citi Open is incredible,” said Mark Ein, CEO of MDE Tennis that is running the tournament. “This is one of the most exciting and deepest player fields we have ever seen here in Washington.  From the first to the last match, the stands will be buzzing as fans will get to see the biggest talents and personalities in the sport. Every session across all our match courts will be packed with compelling match-ups of must-see tennis.” Ein also noted that the upgraded fan experience won’t be limited to the incredible action on the court as the tournament will announce details of an enhanced fan and food experience later this week as part of the new look for the annual event.

“We are excited for the dynamic field at this year’s Citi Open and look forward to welcoming the community to Washington’s marquee tennis event this summer,” said Tina Davis, Managing Director, Head of Global Sponsorship, Citi.

Single session tickets go on sale June 18 at www.CitiOpenTennis.com or by calling the Tournament Hotline at 202-721-9500. Single session tickets, which start at $25, are available as well as limited full-series and weekender ticket packages.

Fans looking for the next generation of breakthrough champions and engaging personalities won’t have to look any further than this year’s Citi Open. Canadian Shapovalov, 20, vaulted into the Top 20 for the first time in April after advancing to the Miami Open semifinals one month earlier. Shapovalov has been marked as one of the top young players to watch since his 2017 run to the Montreal semifinals as a wild card, ousting Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal along the way.

De Minaur, currently ranked No. 26, was a finalist at the 2018 Citi Open where he became a fan favorite with his memorable semifinal victory, saving four match points in a three-set thriller over Rublev. De Minaur also finished as runner-up to Tsitsipas at the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, and the 20-year-old Aussie captured his first career ATP title in January 2019 with a straight set win over Andreas Seppi on the outdoor hard courts in Sydney. Another player to watch is the 21-year-old Rublev who made the semifinals in his Citi Open debut in 2018, the Russian’s best result in an ATP 500 event.

Fans can expect to watch many of the most exciting tennis players in the world with the addition of French showstoppers, Tsonga and Paire. The charismatic Tsonga is back in D.C. for the first time since 2009. After missing much of the 2018 season with a knee injury, Tsonga returned to form earlier this year to win his 17th singles trophy in Montpelier. Paire won two clay court titles this year, taking home the crown in Marrakech and also in Lyon, where he toppled Auger-Aliassime in the championship match.

The field for the ATP tournament, the only ATP Tour 500 level event in the U.S., also includes a slate of proven hard court champions. World No. 9 Khachanov captured the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris last year, then returned to France in 2019 to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros. Isner, currently the top-ranked American man at No. 11, returned to the Miami Open finals in March, one year after his biggest tournament triumph where he won his first ATP Masters 1000 title. Top-ranked Canadian and former world No. 3 Raonic has won eight ATP singles titles including the 2014 Citi Open.

Croatian Cilic is a 3-time Grand Slam finalist whose career highlights include winning the 2014 US Open over Nishikori. Former Wimbledon finalist Berdych, who began the 2019 season by reaching the final in Doha, is back at the Citi Open for the first time since 2014. British No. 1 Edmund, a former Australian Open semifinalist, will also be featured in the men’s draw.

The women’s field will include Bencic, who has risen to No. 13 in the WTA rankings thanks to 30 match wins thus far in 2019, and American Keys, who won her 4th WTA Tour title earlier this year in Charleston. Keys is returning to Washington for the first time since 2014.

The 20-year-old American Kenin, who recently upended Serena Williams at the French Open and moved up to a career-high ranking of No. 30, will make her first Citi Open appearance. Kenin started her 2019 campaign by winning her first WTA singles title in Hobart. Other WTA players to watch include 2016 Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic who is top 50 in singles and the world No. 1 in doubles, and former Top 5 and Wimbledon finalist Bouchard.

The Citi Open, the fifth largest pro tennis event in the U.S., is the only ATP 500 tournament staged in the U.S. and one of only 13 around the world. It also offers fans one of the few opportunities to see stars from both the ATP and WTA Tours compete at the same venue at the same time.

This year marks the first time the Citi Open falls under the direction of MDE Tennis, the sports management company headed by Washington entrepreneur and philanthropist Ein. The 2019 event will showcase the long-running District tennis tournament as “Washington’s Summer Tradition Reimagined” with significant enhanced experiences expected throughout the venue, including concessions and merchandise.

Citi Open returns to the US Open Series for the first time since 2014. The US Open Series is a summer hard-court swing of men’s and women’s tournaments leading up to the US Open. Other US Open Series cities include Atlanta (ATP), San José (WTA), Toronto (WTA), Montreal (ATP), Cincinnati (ATP/WTA), Winston-Salem (ATP).

The longtime beneficiary of Citi Open is the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, a non-profit which provides free tennis and educational programs for children in underserved communities. The tournament is one of WTEF’s biggest annual fundraisers and has raised millions for youth programs in the Washington D.C. area.

For more information, visit www.CitiOpenTennis.com, follow Citi Open on Facebook.com/citiopen, @CitiOpen on Twitter, or CitiOpen on Instagram.

About Citi Open Tournament: The Citi Open® tournament has been Washington, D.C.’s premier tennis event since 1969 and benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), the tournament’s non-profit owner and beneficiary. Beginning in 2019, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Mark Ein will manage and operate the tournament under an agreement with WTEF. The organization provides underserved children in the D.C.-area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment. The Citi Open Tennis Tournament is one of only 13 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The tournament also features a WTA International Tournament, which provides fans the opportunity to watch simultaneous competitions of both world-class men’s and women’s tennis throughout the nine-day event. It is one of only five U.S. tournaments that include both men’s and women’s fields. Washington is one of the five largest tennis events in the United States and one of only five tour events featuring players from both the ATP and WTA Tours competing simultaneously. After 50 years, it is also the longest running pro tennis event at the same site in the United States.

About Citi: Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com/| Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi| Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook:www.facebook.com/citi| LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.

About MDE Tennis: MDE Tennis, which is part of MDE Sports & Entertainment, oversees operations for Citi Open and the Washington Kastles. Mark D. Ein is the CEO of MDE Sports & Entertainment and MDE Tennis. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 30-year career. During this time, Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of six companies that have been worth over one billion dollars and has led over $1.8 billion of private equity, venture capital, and public company investments. Ein is the Founder and CEO of Capitol Investment Corporation 4 (NYSE:CIC), Venturehouse Group, LLC and Leland Investment Co.

Ein actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations and currently serves on the boards of the DC Public Education Fund, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, International Tennis Hall of Fame, DC College Access Program (DC-CAP), and DC Policy Center (Co-Founder). He formerly served on the Board of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) from 2012-2018 (serving as a Vice President of the Board from 2016-2018). Ein has been a member of the World Economic Forum since 2016, and the Gridiron Club, the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C. 

A native of the Washington, D.C., area and a ball boy in his youth at the city’s summer pro tennis tournament that became the Citi Open, Ein is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, the most successful team in World TeamTennis history. The Kastles have won the league championship six of its 11 years since its founding and holds the record for the longest winning streak in U.S. pro team sports history winning 34 straight matches from 2011 through 2013. In September 2009, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting his Washington Kastles success on the court and, “for their commitment to the District’s communities and our youth.”

In September 2018, Ein founded the Washington Justice esports franchise in the Overwatch League, bringing the premier global esports league to the greater Washington, D.C. region. Also, in 2018, Ein acquired the Washington City Paper, the renowned weekly paper serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1981. In 2019, Ein took over management and operation of Citi Open in Washington, D.C., one of only five U.S. professional tennis tournaments that include both men’s and women’s fields.

About WTEF: The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) is a premier educational and tennis organization for underserved children in Washington, D.C. The mission of WTEF is to improve the life prospects of low-income, underserved children and youth in the District of Columbia through athletic and academic enrichment. We seek to keep children off city streets during out-of-school time in a safe environment they can trust. We also engage them in productive activities that teach discipline, build confidence, improve school performance, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. We empower our students to achieve their highest potential by helping them develop meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to make constructive life choices. WTEF builds life champions. For more information, visit www.wtef.org.


Subscribe to SDM