No Sharing the Spotlight @CitiOpen Today For Jordi Arconada
Stephan Fogleman, Tennis East Coast
The Washington Nationals sit in first place atop the National League East. The Washington Kastles go for their fourth consecutive title tomorrow night. Things are so good, DC Sports Fans might forget another show of athletic competition is going on around them this weekend. The Citi Open features 30 qualifying matches today and tomorrow, and admission won’t even set you back $20.
Among the likes of Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and the retiring Bobby Reynolds, you can add one more name to DC Summer Sports Legend:
Strangely, Jordi Arconada becomes the biggest local name this weekend at Citi Open. Arconada came up short against his good friend and classmate, Francis Tiafoe, at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland last month as part of the Citi Open Wild Card Challenge Final.
Today was supposed to be the day the much-heralded Tiafoe made his ATP debut as a qualifier. That’s what DC fans thought he’d earned by winning the Wild Card Challenge, until the BB&T Atlanta Open threw him a qualifying wild card (and threw a curveball to Citi Open/JTCC fans) last week. He promptly won his first match there, depriving DC fans of being able to say they were there to see it happen.
DC had to do one better, and I’m glad they did. They granted Tiafoe a main draw slot, setting up his historic first on Monday. The qualifying wild card Tiafoe had earned in defeating Arconada went to Arconada, as it should.
Another JTCC prodigy and Jordi’s sister, Usue Arconada, won her first WTA match here last year at Citi Open and was expected to play today. But she’s gone to tear it up in Austin.
That leaves Jordi Arconada as the Big Deal today. Often overshadowed by his sister, Usue, and BFF Francis, it is Jordi who will be lavished with support by area fans this weekend.
Sure, there’s the boisterous and sizable contingent of Virginia Cava-Cheerleaders who will bring the love for UVA’s Justin and Ryan Shane at their first ATP tour-level event appearance, but most eyes will be on Arconada.
For one, he’s 17. Every fan wants to say he saw a future star way back when. He’s also playing Michael Llodra, a 34-year-old Frenchman with 5 ATP titles, and get this….a 10-year old daughter.
Everyone loves the battle of the vet versus the kid. This is that battle.
And for once, a brother of a rising tennis star and best friend of another, he doesn’t have to share the spotlight.
CITI OPEN – WASHINGTON DC, USA
USD 1,654,295.00 (ATP)
USD 250,000.00 (WTA)
28 JULY – 3 AUGUST 2014
ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014
STADIUM COURT start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – S Groth (AUS) vs [WC] S Kozlov (USA)
Not Before 11:30 am
ATP – Qualifying – R Ginepri (USA) vs S Diez (CAN)
ATP – Qualifying – A Kuznetsov (USA) vs [WC] R Shane (USA)
WTA – Qualifying – A Mueller (USA) vs T Townsend (USA)
GRANDSTAND 1 start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – Y Bhambri (IND) vs S Bangoura (USA)
ATP – Qualifying – [WC] J Shane (USA) vs Z Zhang (CHN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – Qualifying – S Singh (IND) vs E Gomez (ECU)
WTA – Qualifying – [WC] T Black (USA) vs L Chirico (USA)
GRANDSTAND 2 start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – Y Sugita (JPN) vs T Garanganga (ZIM)
ATP – Qualifying – J Donaldson (USA) vs G Lama (CHI)
WTA – Qualifying – M Larcher de Brito (POR) vs S Dubois (CAN)
WTA – Qualifying – T Smitkova (CZE) vs P Rampre (SLO)
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – A Benneteau (FRA) vs I Marchenko (UKR)
ATP – Qualifying – [WC] J Arconada (ARG) vs M Llodra (FRA)
WTA – Qualifying – S Marand (USA) vs H Kuwata (JPN)
WTA – Qualifying – T Paszek (AUT) vs E Webley-Smith (GBR)
COURT 2 start 10:00 am
ATP – Qualifying – M Copil (ROU) vs S Myneni (IND)
ATP – Qualifying – R Ram (USA) vs M Shabaz (USA)
WTA – Qualifying – O Rogowska (AUS) vs J Coin (FRA)
WTA – Qualifying – A Rodionova (AUS) vs G Dabrowski (CAN)