Citi Open brings professional tennis to Washington, D.C.

Citi Open 2021 finalist Mackenzie McDonald fields a lob from champion Jannik Sinner in the 2021 championship match. DC has held this ATP event every year since 1969, except in 2020.

Washington’s annual pro tennis tournament, the Citi Open, returns July 30 to Aug 7 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Washington, D.C. Many WJ tennis players and fans will be attending to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s best in men’s and women’s tennis and to help the event run smoothly.
The Citi Open is a mid-sized pro tennis event, one of 13 ATP (Association of Tennis Players) 500 events in the yearlong tennis tour. The tournament features 48 singles players and 16 doubles teams. A player or team who wins the event is awarded 500 ATP ranking points; in comparison, a Grand Slam tournament such as the US Open awards 2000 ATP points to its winner. Last year’s winner, Italian Jannik Sinner, ranked world number 22 before the Citi Open, rose to a career-high ranking of number 15 after lifting the trophy.
Many top players use the Citi Open as a warm-up tournament for the US Open later in the summer. Last year, then world number three Rafael Nadal chose to participate in the tournament. Nadal lost in his third-round matchup against South African Lloyd Harris, but still attracted headlines for his decision to come to D.C.
In addition, for the first time since 2019, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour is returning to Washington, D.C. as a WTA 250 event. In 2020, the event was canceled due to the pandemic, and in 2021, the sanction for the tournament was moved away to Gdynia, Poland. This year, the Citi Open is on a temporary sanction that went unused when the Auckland Open was canceled in January, however, tournament organizers are hoping for a permanent sanction to continue women’s tennis in D.C. The return of the women’s tour makes the Citi Open one of only five joint men’s and women’s tennis events in the US.
“I went to the Citi Open last year and it was amazing to see the players from so close and it was a learning experience getting to watch such high-level players compete. I’m especially looking forward to going this summer because there’s going to be WTA players as well,” freshman girls tennis player Angela Lynch said.
In the first player announcement of 2022, defending US Open women’s singles champion 19-year-old and current world number 12 Emma Radacannu, announced that she will be coming to D.C. Radacannu gained worldwide attention at the 2021 US Open winning the championship as a qualifier, the first mens or womens qualifier to ever win a grand slam tournament.
“I think it’s a super exciting opportunity that she’ll soon be in our area, as she has gained so much popularity and recognition across the globe,” girls tennis captain junior Alicia Barnett said.
Freshman boys tennis player Bradley Shi will be a ball boy at the Citi Open this year, directly assisting players throughout their matches.
“It’s so fortunate for me and other tennis kids in the DMV that an ATP 500 tournament is located near us. I have always dreamed about participating in a world class event in some way
and being a ball boy brings me one step closer to that dream,” Shi said.