Main Draw Time at Citi Open: Get Here Before the Olympics Ruin it Next Year!
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
It’s Citi Open main draw time, so do yourself a favor and get down here if you live within two hours of Washington. If this is a poor man’s Flushing Meadows, then find me at the Alms House. And like many other amazing things in life (I’m thinking of the McRib Sandwich), it’s only available for a limited time. Next year brings the official Olympics Tennis Talent Drain, so I wouldn’t expect to see Andy Murray or Kei Nishikori at Rock Creek Park in 2016. In addition to the talent drain that the Olympics brings, it also drains the tennis ‘buzz’ out of the American tournaments around the time that the Summer Games are played. Even in the press room, writers here in 2012 seemed to be more interested in what was happening in London than what was happening on Court 2 in Washington.
Louisa Chirico began main draw play on Stadium Court by embarrassing Heather Watson, 6-3, 6-0. Chirico has come a long way from the Charlottesville ITF just a few months ago. In the next round, she’ll play Alize Cornet.
Yulia Puntintseva abused a lot of rackets today in advancing to the second round. You would think if you won a third set tiebreak in an International-level event, you’d just consider yourself lucky to be moving on to the next round. Not Yulia. She fist-pumped and pointed across the net as if to call 2014 Citi Open Kurumi Nara a complete loser. God bless her.
James “The Duck” Duckworth ended Ryan Harrison’s good trip all the way through qualifying. But don’t get too comfy, Duck. You’ll face Kei Nishikori tomorrow night.
19-year-old Chung Hyeon: Wow, did this guy impress. The dude destroyed Dudi Sela in 57 minutes. Chung converted less than half of his break chances, but when you’re getting 13 chances to break, you’re going to win an ATP match handily. The crowd was solidly for Sela, with local blond-haired kids waving the Israeli flag and celebrating wildly, even on Chung’s lone double fault.
And for all the annual ad-nauseam talk about some disparity of treatment between the WTA and ATP, give it up. People complained that the men dominated Stadium Court every night, and they were right. They were right because it’s an apples and oranges comparison with the ATP 500 event (a more important tournament in money and ranking points) than the WTA International-level event. However, today the WTA kicked off on Stadium Court and they’ll do it again tomorrow when Coco Vandeweghe and Christina McHale begin play at 2:00 p.m.