Good Weather and Great Playing Field Made 2019 @CitiOpen A Champion Among Tournaments
Steve Fogleman in Washington
Saturday was simply spectacular at the Citi Open in Washington. The fired-up crowds for the women’s doubles final and the Kyrgios-Tsitsipas men’ semifinal were unprecedented in my decade at this event. Fans paid upwards of $300 to get into the sold-out men’s semifinals yesterday. Between the dry conditions all week, also unprecedented, and the the stellar player field, this Citi Open was bigger and better than ever.
Tournament owner Mark Ein, who also owns the Washington Kastles, couldn’t have imagined that the weather would cooperate for him in this fashion, nor did he know Cori Gauff was going to come to Washington straight off of Wimbledon. He didn’t know that Andy Murray would make his triumphant return to Washington only a year after exiting on pain in suffering here.
Let’s face it, the only thing that didn’t go Mark Ein’s way this week was that, in a perfect world, Andy and Jamie Murray would be playing for the doubles title this afternoon. Sure, Sloane Stephens, Genie Bouchard and Madison Keys dropped early, but that happens everywhere, every day. All tolled, this nine day event was nearly flawless and everything the new owner could have hoped for when he signed on.
Whether Daniil Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios or Camilla Giorgi notch another title and get their names installed on the ring of honor on Stadium Court today will be entertaining. Whether Jessica Pegula wins her first tour level title in front of an American audience would be lovely, but at the end of this week, I can reflect and say that the real champions of this event are the staff and volunteers who make order from all of this chaos known as a pro tennis tournament. And for Mark Ein, he’s got to be proud of his champion among tournaments that was the 2019 Citi Open.