First Round Action Kicks Off 2022 Citi Open Main Draw Play
Steve Fogleman in Washington
Andy Murray graced this city with his presence but bowed out in the first round of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. on Monday night, falling to Sweden’s Michael Ymer in three sets.
“Yeah, it was disappointing obviously,” he said after the loss. “I thought there was some good tennis in the first set. After that both of us were struggling a bit physically. The level of the tennis was not great but, yeah, obviously had chances in the first set to close that out. I had set point in 6-5, then two in the tiebreaker, two or three in the tiebreaker, and didn’t get it. Frustrating.”
Murray opined that the only positive of the early loss was more time to practice before heading to Canada later in the week.
Earlier in the day, former world #1 Simona Halep faced little resistance from Spain’s Cristina Busca in the first set but went into a bit of a tailspin in the second before securing the victory.
“Yeah, my energy dropped (in the second set)” she said. “I’m not used. I didn’t play the last months in this heat. It’s always tricky to start the tournament. Now I know. I got used to the conditions better.”
She concluded, “First round is difficult. But it’s good that I finish in two sets.”
She should know. The last time she played here was in 2017, when she wilted in the heat on her way to retirement.
Top-ranked American Jessica Pegula was fully prepared for 2019 Citi Open upset specialist and local player Hailey Baptiste. Baptiste beat Madison Keys in the first round of the 2019 event here and Pegula was not looking past her.
I am a sucker for cliches like “epic comeback”, but Daria Saville’s match against qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund was one for the tournament. After losing the first set 6-3, she clawed back to win the next two sets and the match, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) after 3 hours and 9 minutes. The 10th game of the third set went on for 15 minutes and Bjorklund’s level of play never dropped. Saville, nee Gavrilova, will need the two day rest to face top American Pegula in the round of 16.
Kyle Edmund is back, mate! The 2020 New York Open champion (right as the coronavirus was attacking New York City for the first time) won his first match in almost 20 months today after injuries sidelined him from the tour. Edmund indicated that he was not at his best, but it’s good to see him back on court and I’m interested in how he’ll fare against countryman Daniel Evans tomorrow night.
British and Americans Headline a Magical Monday at Citi Open
Steve Fogleman in Washington
Main draw action is about to get underway at the Citi Open in Washington today. British compatriots Kyle Edmund, Jack Draper, Harriet Dart and Andy Murray look to successfully start the British campaign on the Nation’s Capital in singles, while Emma Raducanu will start with a doubles match.
It’s the U.S. Open Series, so you come to expect a lot of Americans in these events and you won’t be disappointed today. American #1 Jessica Pegula plays local talent Hailey Baptiste today. Baptiste shocked the tournament when she beat Madison Keys in the first round here in 2019 and we’ll see what surprises she has in store for us today.
More local talent is featured with Denis Kudla of nearby Arlington, Virginia as he squares off against Michael Mmoh, who was also born and raised in the neighboring Maryland suburbs.
And Venus Wiliams will be your American nightcap as she steps on Stadium court after 7:00 p.m. to face Canadian Rebecca Marino.
If al of that wasn’t enough for you, then how about a matinee match for former world #1 Simona Halep in action against Cristina Bucsa?
It’s summer tennis in the Mid-Atlantic and the matchups are about as good as it gets. I call Citi Open a “375”, because it’s an ATP 500 and a WTA 250. This opening day of this “375” feels like a Master’s event to me–or at least a Master’s opening day from 2018.
Sold Out Citi Open Saturday Play Sizzles; Tournament Steps Up to Match @Andy_Murray Ukraine Relief Funds
Steve Fogleman in Washington
WASHINGTON–The opening day of the 2022 Citi Open was one of the most action-packed days I’ve witnessed in over 20 years of attendance at the pro tennis tournament at Rock Creek Park in Washington. In years past, qualifying weekend was a somewhat low key affair, with free tickets and food and bouncy houses to attract families to the event. Last year, the King of Clay featured a qualifying weekend sellout and a packed stadium for Rafael Nadal’s practice sessions. So I was a little surprised to see a full house today to cheer on American players trying to make it into the main draw and watch practice sessions for Venus Williams, Simona Halep and others.
I almost missed the first match of the day as Tulane alum Dominik Koepfer needed only 42 minutes to dispatch Ryan Colby, 6-0, 6-0. Tomorrow, Koepfer will look for a main draw berth with a win against 19-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki, who advanced 6-1, 6-2 against American Alex Lawson.
Michael Mmoh, who has roots in the Washington area, routined his compatriot Raymond Sarmiento, 6-4, 6-2, and will square off against fellow American J.C. Aragone, who needed three sets to knock off Bruno Kuzuhara, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4.
The women’s top qualifying seed Xiyu Wang topped Jamie Loeb, 6-4, 6-1, and the seeded women’s qualifiers did quite well today, with Heather Watson (3), Catherine McNally (7) and Sachia Vickery (8) all advancing to a final tomorrow. A notable exception was the 6 seed, Yue Yuan, who lost in three sets to Louisa Chirico on Stadium Court.
And finally, Citi Open tournament owner Mark Ein had a special announcement of the top of Andy Murray’s pre-tournament press conference at noon today. Murray, who has earmarked his summer tour earnings for Ukraine relief funding, will have his donations matched by the tournament. Murray had preciously announced that he would donate his tour earnings to the UNICEF Ukraine fund and now has double the reason to keep winning.
Citi Open announces full preliminary player fields for its combined ATP/WTA event in Washington, D.C., July 30 – August 7, featuring Andy Murray, Simona Halep, Emma Raducanu, Taylor Fritz and more top talent
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Citi Open®, Washington, D.C.’s combined ATP/WTA professional tennis tournament, has released its preliminary player fields for this year’s event. The stacked competition includes three former World No. 1 players, six Grand Slam champions, four former Citi Open titlists, three Olympic gold medalists and 10 top 20 players. The 2022 Citi Open will be held July 30 – August 7 in Rock Creek Park.
Highlights from the main draws include:
Three Former World No. 1s: Andy Murray, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka
Six Grand Slam Champions: Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens, Sofia Kenin (WC)
Three Olympic Gold Medalists: Andy Murray (London & Rio de Janeiro, Singles), Andrey Rublev (Tokyo, Mixed Doubles), Victoria Azarenka (London, Mixed Doubles)
Four Former Citi Open Champions: Nick Kyrgios, Kei Nishikori (WC), Jessica Pegula, Sloane Stephens
Ten Top 20 Players: Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov, Reilly Opelka, Jessica Pegula, Emma Raducanu, Leylah Fernandez, Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka
Eight of the Top Nine American Men: Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Jenson Brooksby, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Mackenzie McDonald
Six 2022 Wimbledon Quarterfinalists: David Goffin, Taylor Fritz, Nick Kyrgios, Simona Halep (semifinalist), Marie Bouzkova, Ajla Tomljanovic
“We are thrilled to share the terrific field of top men’s and women’s players we have lined up for the 2022 Citi Open. The draws will be filled by Grand Slam champions, former World No. 1s, past Citi Open winners, top 20 players and a few new and exciting faces making their tournament debuts,” said Mark Ein, Citi Open Chairman. “In less than a month, our fans will get the opportunity to watch these incredible, world-class athletes, who they follow around the globe, compete right here in the nation’s capital. It’s going to be another memorable week of tennis in Washington.”
The Citi Open is one of only five combined tennis tournaments in the country, featuring professional competition from both men and women. Citi Open’s ATP 500 event will showcase 48 singles players and 16 doubles teams. The revived WTA 250 tournament will feature 32 singles competitors and 16 doubles teams. Additional players will join the main draws via wild card entry, to be announced in the coming weeks.
Among the new players announced today are:
Andy Murray, Three-time Grand Slam Champion & Former World No. 1: Andy Murray holds 46 career titles, including the 2012 US Open title and 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon titles. He was the first player to win two Olympic gold medals and was the first British World No. 1 player. This season he reached the finals in Stuttgart and Sydney. Murray will compete in the Citi Open for the fourth time in 2022, where he was a finalist in 2006 and a quarterfinalist in 2018.
Hubert Hurkacz, World No. 10: Hubert Hurkacz recently captured his fifth ATP title in Halle. This season he reached the semifinals in Miami and Dubai and the quarterfinals in Madrid and Monte Carlo. In 2021, the 25-year-old won the title in Metz, Miami and Delray Beach and was also a semifinalist at Wimbledon.
Denis Shapovalov, World No. 16: Canadian Denis Shapovalov is currently ranked World No. 16. The 23-year-old has reached three quarterfinals this season, at the Australian Open and in Doha and Rome, and the semifinals in Dubai. He is a 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist and 2020 US Open quarterfinalist.
Karen Khachanov, World No. 22: KarenKhachanov is a four-time ATP champion and is currently ranked World No. 22. The 26-year-old reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2021 and Roland-Garros in 2019. This season, he was a finalist in Adelaide (International 1) and a semifinalist in Doha and Belgrade.
Holger Rune, World No. 29: Holger Rune will make his Citi Open debut in 2022. The 19-year-old
captured his maiden ATP title this season in Munich. He also found success at Roland-Garros, where he became the first Danish man to reach the tournament’s quarterfinal. He is the 2019 Roland-Garros boys’ singles champion.
Jenson Brooksby, World No. 33: American Jenson Brooksby will compete in the Citi Open for the second time in 2022, where he was a semifinalist last year. In 2021, he reached the fourth round of the US Open as a 20-year-old wild card, becoming the first American in the US Open’s fourth round since Andy Roddick in 2002. Brooskby was a finalist in Dallas this season.
Sebastian Korda, World No. 46: Sebastian Korda, the 22-year-old American, will compete in the Citi Open for the second time in 2022. This year marks 30 years since his father, Petr Korda, captured the Citi Open title in 1992. His 2022 season included a quarterfinal appearance in Delray Beach and a semifinal berth in Estoril.
Mackenzie McDonald, World No. 55: Mackenzie McDonald reached his first ATP final at the 2021 Citi Open, where he defeated former champions and 2022 contenders Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori on the way to the final. This year will be his fourth time competing in D.C. The 27-year-old American was a quarterfinalist this season in Dubai.
Ajla Tomljanovic, World No. 44: AustralianAjla Tomljanovic will make her debut appearance at the Citi Open this summer. This season, the 29-year-old reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon and in Istanbul, Morocco and Nottingham. She was also a Wimbledon quarterfinalist in 2021.
Other notable player additions in the field include Maxime Cressy, David Goffin, Tommy Paul, Elise Mertens and Marie Bouzkova. Several players in the 2022 field have also found success in Washington in years past. In addition to the four former singles champions, the field includes 2018 finalist Alex de Minaur, 2018 semifinalist Andrey Rublev, 2019 semifinalist Anna Kalinskaya, 2018 finalist Donna Vekic and 2013 finalist and 2017 and ‘18 semifinalist Andrea Petkovic.
A Delray Beach Open Wild Card for Andy Murray Strengthens the Field for Western Hemisphere’s First Tournament of 2021
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Andy Murray, a 46-time winner on the ATP Tour who has been ranked No. 1 in the world, has been awarded a wild card for the season-opening Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com that will take place January 4-13.
The three-time Major champion joins four former tournament winners – Reilly Opelka (2020), Frances Tiafoe (2018), Sam Querrey (2017) and Kei Nishikori (2008) – in the field.
Murray will make his Delray Beach Open debut during Session 8, which will take place Friday night, Jan. 8. Additional headline matches have also been announced, including Opelka beginning his title defense on Thursday night, Jan. 7. The top-ranked American, John Isner, will headline the Saturday night session on Jan. 9, while Milos Raonic, who is projected to be the top seed, will play on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 10.
“I am looking forward to starting the 2021 season in Delray Beach.” Murray said. “This event will be a good test for me and I’m excited to be back playing on the tour”
Murray will be the 11th of the 26 players to have ever held the ATP’s No. 1 ranking to play the Delray Beach Open, joining Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Lleyton Hewitt, Ivan Lendl, Carlos Moya, Pat Rafter, Marcelo Rios, Andy Roddick and Mats Wilander.
“We are looking forward to Andy joining us for our season-opening tournament,” said Tournament Director Mark Baron. “He is a champion at every level and among the greatest fighters our sport has ever seen. It will be thrilling to see him play here.”
Murray has won his 46 ATP titles from 68 finals during his career. Those tournament wins include being a two-time champion at both Wimbledon (2013, 2016) and the Olympics (2012, 2016). He was also the winner at the 2012 US Open and in 2016 at the ATP Finals, which was his ninth title of that season.
During his career, Murray has spent 41 weeks ranked as the World No. 1. At the end of January 2019, he underwent a hip resurfacing surgery. In June of that year, he returned to the Tour and immediately won the doubles title at Queen’s Club in London. He returned to singles action in August, and in October, won the title at Antwerp.
The 33-year-old and his wife, Kim, have two daughters and one son. Last year, he was knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
His brother Jamie, who is one year older, has been ranked No. 1 in doubles and won the 2008 Delray Beach title.
Originally scheduled for February, the 2021 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com will now take place January 4-13. The ATP Champions Tour legends event will begin the action Jan. 4-6. ATP 250 qualifying matches will take place Jan. 5-6. The main draw for the ATP 250 tournament, which will feature 16 doubles teams in addition to the 28-player singles field, will begin Thursday, Jan. 7 with two sessions each day until the finals are contested during a single session on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
All tickets for the “Physically Distanced, Forever Social” event at the historic downtown tennis center are on sale now at www.yellowtennisball.com or by phone at +1 561-330-6000. In order to accommodate spacious conditions in the stadium and throughout the venue, attendance for each session at the 2021 tournament will be capped at 2,000 people, just under 25 percent of the outdoor stadium’s total capacity.
Fans who act quickly can take advantage of a special Holiday Sale on tickets if purchasing before midnight on Dec. 31. Using the promo code CHAMPION, a discount of 30% will be applied to individual box and reserved seats for Sessions 1-4 (ATP Champions Tour matches). For discounted tickets to see the ATP 250 matches, fans can use the code JINGLE to get 10% off individual box seats for Sessions 5-14 (excluding Session 8), while the code BELLS will provide a 20% discount on individual reserved seats for Sessions 5-14 (excluding Session 8).
Last year, Delray Beach resident Opelka served a tournament record 99 aces during the week in which he won his second career ATP Tour title. In doubles Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan captured their sixth Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com title and their 119th as a team. It was the final tournament for the twin brothers who announced their retirement in August. In the opening weekend’s ATP Champions Tour matches, Team Europe, led by Tommy Haas and David Ferrer, earned a 5-2 win over the James Blake-led Team World. This marked the third straight defeat for the home nation in ATP Champions Tour competition at Delray Beach.
In an ever-changing world the tournament will maintain the highest level of health and safety standards for fans, players and staff alike. Please remain updated on our measures at https://yellowtennisball.com/faq/
More Starpower Added @CitiOpen as @AndyMurray Join Doubles Field With @Jamie_Murray
Andy Murray (Photo: Mike Renz for Tennis Atlantic)
Another deep and talented doubles field will descend on D.C. next week with all 10 of the ATP World Tour’s Top-10 doubles players set to compete at the CitiOpen.
Former world No.1 Andy Murray is also among the headliners in the men’s doubles field as Murray returns to Washington for a rare chance to partner with his brother Jamie.
While the Murray brothers have teamed up in the past, those occasions have primarily come during international competitions such as the Olympics or the Davis Cup.
Andy Murray, Citi Open
But with Andy Murray primarily playing doubles this year as he continues his comeback from hip surgery, the CitiOpen presents a rare opportunity for the Murray brothers to partner in an ATP event. Jamie is ranked No. 8 in doubles and is a six-time Grand Slam champion in doubles competition.
Jamie, 15 months Andy’s senior, won the CitiOpen doubles crown last summer with then-partner Bruno Soares. Soares, who is fresh off competing for the Washington Kastles, is back this year as well with partner Mate Pavic of Croatia.
It feels strange to be saying that Andy Murray is looking to make a sensational return to the top of the summit of world tennis but that is exactly what he is aiming to do. To say that the Scotsman cut a forlorn figure at a press conference at the Australian Open would be grossly downplaying it. The 32-year-old had to leave the room as he made what can only be described as a spur of the moment retirement decision given that he was overcome with emotion.
You sat there saying to yourself, “don’t say it, don’t say it”, but after an excruciating warm-up at the year’s first Grand Slam, the Scotsman could no longer hide his disappointment at the fact he was still being severely hampered by serious injury. Who could blame him as well for bringing the curtain down on his career at a time that seemed a little premature given there wasn’t any guarantee that his hip would get better?
If it was his last hurrah, it was certainly an entertaining one as he crashed out to Bautista Agut in a five-set thriller but there was one last medical avenue Murray hadn’t explored. His last option in the pursuit of making a return was to undergo hip resurfacing surgery in London. Here we are during the month of Wimbledon and Murray seems to be enjoying a new lease of life in the doubles category.
He was initially dumped out the men’s doubles in the first week of the event but he has been doing well alongside Serena Williams in the mixed doubles. Whilst Murray has enjoyed competing in the doubles category throughout his career, this is purely to get him back to some sort of match fitness as he attempts to get back to the top. That’s right, once Murray finishes his rehab, the two-time Wimbledon champion is determined to get back to mixing it with the elite in the men’s game again.
Whether he feels up to playing in the US Open or not remains to be seen but interestingly enough, Murray is at 12/1 in tennis betting to win the men’s category at Flushing Meadows. Read into that what you like but professional sport is full of fairytale comebacks and there is just a feeling that the world is yet to see the last of the superb Scot – which is truly wonderful news.
There are few things as devastating for a sportsman or woman as being stopped in their prime and Murray would have had to dig deep to get through the disappointment of missing out on two years of what should have been the best years of his career. The positive is that Murray is not looking to weep over lost time but make the most of the time he still has left in front of him, now that he says he is pain-free again after so many years of suffering.
Despite enduring a fierce rivalry with the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, Murray will take inspiration from them as they continue to dominate the tour long after their supposed best days were behind them. In a weird way, even though the Big Three have stood in Murray’s way in terms of winning more Grand Slams, it is their presence on the tour now that may play the biggest role in Murray’s recovery and quest to carry on.
Tennis fans from all over the world will delight at the sight of Britain’s Andy Murray stepping out into a competitive arena for this first time since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery back in January.
The former world No. 1 will line up alongside Feliciano Lopez in the doubles event at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s. How he performs on the grass in London will play a big part in helping him decide whether to return to singles action this summer.
Back to the scene of first ATP win
The three-time Grand Slam winner won his first-ever ATP title at Queen’s Club and it has proved to be his most successful tournament with five wins, the last coming against Milos Raonic in 2016. The Briton announced he had been pain-free since recovering from the operation and has made good progress on the practice courts.
The doubles event will give him a chance to return to competitive action without putting himself through the strain of the singles event which features a strong line-up this year. Defending champion Marin Cilic will be joined by Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov at the men’s ATP World Tour 500 series event.
Wimbledon singles return unlikely
Murray is expected to play more doubles tennis at Eastbourne and Wimbledon but is unlikely to return to singles action until after the US Open. Despite that, some bookies still have him the listed in the Wimbledon odds for the singles events with prices of around 33/1 available.
Age no barrier
With no exact time scale set for his singles return, it will be a case of watching and waiting for fans of the 32-year-old. However, if he can remain pain-free, there is no reason he cannot compete at the top level again. Rafa Nadal has just won his 18th Grand Slam aged 33 after coming back from injury and Roger Federer was 36 when he won the 2018 Australian Open, his 20th major title. Meanwhile, 2019 Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, is just a week younger than Murray and still ranked No. 1 in the world.
Six months out
Murray last played a singles match at the Australian Open in January and many believed that would be his last ever match as a top-level pro – especially in light of the emotional speech he gave when he bowed out of the tournament. However, having decided to undergo surgery, the popular Scot could have added years to his career.
Andy Murray Looks To Find Form at the 2018 Shenzhen Open ATP 250 Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The ATP Asian swing features a 250 in Shenzhen, China on hard courts this week, the more notable of the two ATP events in China for the week. Here is your preview with predictions.
David Goffin will be hoping to continue his good form in round 2 against either Andy Murray or Zhizhen Zhang. Goffin should be favored against Murray, but I’ll back the upset, a focused Murray should rise up and knock off Goffin. I’ll also back Murray to get revenge on Fernando Verdasco after Verdasco beat him at the US Open. Verdasco’s both to the quarterfinals is Jason Jung, followed by Taro Daniel/Tatsuma Ito, he’ll be favored in both matches.
St. Petersburg quarterfinalist Denis Shapovalov should ease past Ilya Ivashka and Yoshihito Nishioka or Denis Kudla in round 2 before running into Borna Coric in a tough quarterfinal match. Coric opens with Di Wu or Cam Norrie, I have him as the favorite to take this section over Shapovalov.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was upset early in his last tournament but I don’t see Dusan Lajovic or Pierre-Hugues Herbert being able to repeat that feat in round 2. This is a weak section, with the winner of Andreas Seppi/Albert Ramos probably favored against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or VIktor Troicki. Tsitsipas over Seppi is my pick here.
Damir Dzhumur should get past Jiri Vesely/Ramkumar Ramanathan before facing off with Alex De Minaur in the quarters. The young Aussie opens with Yuichi Sugita, Mackenzie McDonald or Lukas Lacko are set to follow. De Minaur will be the favorite against Dzhumur in the quarters and has a real shot at this title.
American @MackieMackster McDonald to Face “Rusty” @Andy_Murray Tonight @CitiOpen; Interview Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Mackenzie McDonald is loving the hard courts summer. And he had some confidence headed into tonight’s showdown with two-time grand slam champion Andy Murray when we spoke with him on Sunday afternoon at the Citi Open in Washington.
“I love that (hard court season) is in the states so we get a good crowd cheering on all the Americans,” he said. “I definitely grew up on hard courts and I love hardcourts and I think it suits my game. It’s definitely a good time to be in the States during the Summer.”
As far as battling Murray in his next match, McDonald said, “He’s obviously a great player, has had a great career so far. He’s a grand slam champion so it’s gonna be pretty cool sharing the court with him.”
McDonald seems to like his chances against Murray. “He’s a little rusty. I think there are definitely some positives for me going into the match. I think I’m playing really good tennis so it should be a good match.”