CITI OPEN® TENNIS TOURNAMENT COMPETITION HEATS UP WITH WORLD NO. 10 ALEXANDER ZVEREV & CANADIAN STAR GENIE BOUCHARD
American fan favorite Steve Johnson also committed to play; Joins dynamic field including Monfils,del Potro, Isner, Puig, and the Bryan Brothers
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2017) — D.C.’s summer just got hotter as 20-year-old phenom Alexander Zverev and Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard join this year’s Citi Open® Tennis Tournament player field.
In addition, American fan favorite Steve Johnson has also committed to compete in the 49th edition of the Washington tournament.
Bouchard, Zverev, and Johnson join previously announced players, including defending Citi Open champion Gael Monfils, three-time Citi Open champ Juan Martin del Potro, World No. 8 Dominic Thiem, 2015 finalist John Isner, and Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig. The Citi Open® also welcomes back the world’s winningest doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan.. The tournament will be held July 29 – August 6 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center and benefits underserved and low-income kids in the D.C. community through the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation.
So far this year, the last few months have been a highlight of Zverev, Bouchard, and Johnson’s seasons. Zverev became the youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic in 2007, when he captured the title in Rome. In the meantime, Bouchard defeated former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova in the second round of the Madrid Open — a three-set thriller that has already been touted as one of the best matches of the year. Johnson, a two-time Citi Open semifinalist, captured the second title of his career in Houston.
“Zverev is one of those players that you watch and quickly find yourself cheering him on to take out one of the giants. He is an unbelievable player and has such a bright future ahead of him,” said Tournament Director Keely O’Brien. “As for Bouchard, you always want the ‘it’ girl at your event and she certainly is that. Genie has been playing with a little extra motivation this season, so I hope she goes the distance here in DC. And Stevie, a Citi Open fan favorite, is playing 100% with his heart and that can make him unstoppable.”
Each ticket provides fans access to the action on all six courts, with both men’s and women’s matches, for as many as 24 matches per session. Tickets to gain admission to the tournament’s signature events will be announced soon.
The Citi Open Tennis Tournament is one of only 13 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The tournament represents a WTA International event and having both ATP and WTA players provides fans the opportunity to watch simultaneous competitions of both world-class men’s and women’s tennis throughout the nine-day event. It is one of only five U.S. tournaments that include both men’s and women’s fields. Main draw matches of the tournament will be broadcast starting Monday, July 31, on Tennis Channel.
DC-AREA NATIVE FRANCES TIAFOE (@FTIAFOE) NABS WILD CARD TO @CITIOPEN MAIN DRAW DC’s Capital Tennis Tradition Begins July 16 at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2016) — Frances Tiafoe, one of the most promising young American players and a native of Prince George’s County, Md., will receive a wild card entry into the main draw of the Citi Open® Tennis Tournament. The Nation’s Capital Tennis Tradition will be held July 16-24 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
“I’m looking forward to the Citi Open this year more than any other tournament,” Tiafoe said. “I am thankful for the chance to play in front of my family and friends and will make the most of the opportunity.”
Francis Tiafoe (Photo: Cynthia Lum/USTA)
Tiafoe, 18, was the youngest player in the Top 200 of the ATP World Tour Rankings last year. In 2014, at 16 years old, Tiafoe made his ATP World Tour debut at the Citi Open with a wild card entry, in front of a cheering home crowd. In 2015, he secured his first ATP singles win at Winston-Salem, and competed in the main draws of both the French Open and U.S. Open. This year, he was named as one of 14 ATP “Next Generation” — young players who are rising to prominence in the sport.
“We’re excited to offer Frances home-court advantage in this year’s tournament,” said Jeff Newman, tournament director. “Washington fans have a chance to come out and support our homegrown talent — I know we can expect great things from him in the coming years.”
Tiafoe joins an exciting field of players at the tournament, which includes current top seed World No. 9 Tomas Berdych; three-time tournament champion and former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro; 2015 tournament finalist John Isner; dynamic players Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios; Americans Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Denis Kudla, Steve Johnson, and Taylor Fritz; and top international stars Grigor Dimitrov, Kevin Anderson, Marcos Baghdatis, and Borna Coric.
In the exciting women’s field, the tournament boasts former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki; defending champion Sloane Stephens; former U.S. Open champion and current No. 1 seed Samantha Stosur; Grand Slam finalists Eugenie Bouchard and Sabine Lisicki; and American Shelby Rogers, who had an incredible run to this year’s French Open quarterfinals.
The full doubles field is expected about two weeks before the tournament, headlined by the world’s most successful doubles team of all time, Bob and Mike Bryan. Players are subject to change due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances.
2014 ATP Metz Preview Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
Because the ATP event in St. Petersburg that is normally played this week was moved to Tel Aviv, and then the new ATP Tel Aviv event got cancelled this year, there is only one ATP event this week, a 250 indoors in Metz.
ATP World Tour 250
September 15-September 21, 2014
Prize Money: € 410,200
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (12)
2: Gael Monfils (18)
3: Philipp Kohlschreiber (24)
4: Lukas Rosol (27)
It is a French-heavy field in Metz, with two top 20 players, and the action should be interesting enough.
First Round matchups to watch:
Gilles Muller vs. Edouard Roger-Vasselin
The big serving Muller has had a strong season, primarily at the challenger level, and he has already posted an 11-5 record on indoor hard courts this year. Roger-Vasselin, by contrast, has been struggling for a while and has not won back-to-back matches since the grass court season. The indoor h2h favors ERV 2-1, but I would not read a lot into the head-to-head matchups since they occurred years ago. I am going with Muller in a slight upset to win this matchup.
Paolo Lorenzi vs. (WC) Laurent Lokoli
The young Frenchman Lokoli gets a wild card here and has a great chance to get some experience off of clay against ATP level competition. He has shown promise at the challenger level, and he also qualified for the French Open.
Lorenzi, meanwhile, is known for mailing it in on hardcourts, and he is a beatable opponent for Lokoli, who is actually favored going in. This one could go either way depending on how good Lokoli plays.
(6)Joao Sousa vs. Ivan Dodig
Joao Sousa comes off a pair of losses, the first in the second round of the US Open, and the second in Davis Cup action. He will face the tough task of rebounding against Ivan Dodig, who is still finding his way back into form from injury. Dodig has three straight losses, but he should still be the favorite to snap that losing streak and reach the second round. Style and matchup wise, he has the advantage.
Two time Metz champion, and last year’s runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opens with the Muller/ERV winner. Tsonga would want to face ERV as he has beaten him four times this season and seven times since 2012, meanwhile he is 0-1 against Muller, though that match took place years ago. Regardless of who he faces, Tsonga, who is in-form after a fourth round showing at the US Open and a win in Davis Cup action on clay, should get through to the quarterfinals to face the red-hot David Goffin. Goffin won a pair of Davis Cup rubbers to propel Belgium to victory in their tie without dropping a set and he has won at minimum consecutive matches at every tournament he has participated in since Wimbledon.
The path for Goffin is a qualifier and Tobias Kamke/qualifier. He should get through that without dropping a set if he still has stamina left after Davis Cup action.
A former Metz finalist, Philipp Kohlschreiber played admirably at the US Open and reached the second week. He has not had the strongest of seasons by his standards but he should be looking to continue his positive momentum against the Lokoli/Lorenzi winner. After that, a quarterfinal duel with one of Dusan Lajovic/JL Struff/Nicolas Mahut/Jeremy Chardy awaits. This is a toss-up section as Lajovic played Davis Cup in India, for Serbia, and is probably exhausted, though he is a rising young player. Struff is competent indoors, but he is coming off losing a clay challenger final in Poland. Mahut won a challenger in France while the US Open was going on, suddenly finding form, while fellow Frenchman Chardy is a streaky player. Indoors, I favor Mahut to survive this section, especially since he is a home player with his previous indoor talents.
A former winner in Metz, Gael Monfils remains a fan favorite, and he played some tremendous tennis this summer that he hopes to continue into the fall season. Le Monf opens with a qualifier, then is likely to face Jerzy Janowicz in the quarterfinals. Janowicz must get through Adrian Mannarino, who had a good week on the challenger circuit before having to retire in the final of Istanbul. Janowicz/Mannarino are slated to face the Jarkko Nieminen/Sergiy Stakhovsky winner in round 2. Stakhovsky was competent in Davis Cup for Ukraine, splitting singles rubbers, and Nieminen has dominated the h2h in that one, though he’s been struggling. Given fatigue should be a factor, I have Nieminen into round 2 and Janowicz into the quarters before falling to Monfils.
Lukas Rosol struggled for the Czech Republic in Davis Cup against France. He has lost two straight matches and will open with the winner of Benjamin Becker/Paul-Henri Mathieu. Both players are steady, but declining veterans who could pose trouble for the Czech ball-basher. Neither Becker nor Mathieu are in great form though, and Rosol should be the superior player to reach the quarterfinals. The Sousa/Dodig winner will be the favored quarterfinalist from the section above Rosol. The winner of that round 1 battle will face Andreas Seppi/Igor Sijsling in round 2. Seppi and Sijsling both saw their teams lose Davis Cup ties this weekend and Sijsling suffered an upset loss in his singles rubber. I’d favor Dodig or Sousa over Seppi, and Dodig just beat Seppi in Toronto this summer, so he should make the quarterfinals in what could be a great week for the Croat.
Dark Horse: Ivan Dodig
Dodig is well above .500 on indoor hard courts over the past four seasons and he has a draw he can take advantage of as an unseeded player if he has moved past the rust of coming back from injury. His big serving should conquer Sousa and propel him past Seppi/Sijsling and Rosol if the Czech is in poor form. I have him in the semifinals this week before falling to Monfils.
Tsonga d. Kohlschreiber
Monfils d. Dodig
Tsonga has been playing great tennis overall as of late, and he has two career wins over Goffin. He has also dominated the h2h with Kohlschreiber. He has a win over the German this year on clay and has won six meetings since 2009 on a variety of surfaces, and he also beat him in Metz in 2007. Tsonga has been the better player this year and should make the final.
Monfils and Janowicz have never met, but I favor Gael given the form factor. JJ just seems too inconsistent to be reliable against a player who can reach his power shots. Monfils is 2-0 against Dodig and in better form, so we should be on a collision course for an all French final between the two in-form French players.
Monfils d. Tsonga
A case can be made for both players to win the title this week: Tsonga leads the h2h 4-1 and the indoor h2h is split 1-1. Tsonga would likely be favored, but I feel like Monfils is underrated at the moment and I’m going with him to take the title.
Nikolay Davydenko/Denis Istomin are your doubles champions over Marc Gicquel/Nicolas Mahut.
Marin Cilic won his fourth Zagreb title 6-3, 6-4 over Tommy Haas in front of the home fans for his 10th career ATP title, with all having come at the 250 level. It’s a big milestone for Cilic, as he has come back strong from a very controversial doping suspension that kept him out of half the season last year and he will certainly feel vindicated further with this result.
Cilic beat Mate Delic, Dusan Lajovic, Ivan Dodig, and surprise semifinalist/qualifier Bjorn Phau, all in straight sets. He didn’t drop a set in Zagreb all week.
Haas had a bit of a tougher time, making the final with a 3 set win over Benjamin Becker, a straight set win over Andrey Kuznetsov and a 3 set semifinal victory over lucky loser Dan Evans.
Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau won the doubles crown over Philipp Marx/Michal Mertinak.
ATP Vina Del Mar
Fabio Fognini dispatched surprise finalist Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and a half to claim his third career ATP title, all of which have come this year and last year, and all of which have come on clay.
The red-hot Italian beat Aljaz Bedene in straights, Jeremy Chardy in 3 sets, and Nicolas Almagro in 3 sets before having a much easier time in the final.
Mayer saved match points to upset Tommy Robredo in 3 sets in round 2. Before that, he whipped Andreas Haider-Maurer in straights, and he earned a 3 set victory over Daniel Gimeno-Traver and a straight set win over Santiago Giraldo in the semifinals.
Oliver Marach/Florin Mergea beat Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah to take the doubles title.
2014 ATP Doha (@QatarTennis) Preview & Picks Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
The 2014 ATP season will fire up with a strong trio of ATP 250 events, all on hard courts, in Brisbane, Doha and Chennai. Most of the top players will be in action and it is a fresh start to the year for everyone. Here is to a tremendous year of tennis in 2014!
Qatar ExxonMobil Open
ATP World Tour 25)
December 30-January 4, 2014
Prize Money: $1,096,910
8 Seeds (ATP ranking in parentheses):
1: Rafael Nadal (1)
2: David Ferrer (3)
3: Andy Murray (4)
4: Tomas Berdych (7)
5: Richard Gasquet (9)
6: Philipp Kohlschreiber (22)
7: Ernests Gulbis (24)
8: Fernando Verdasco (30)
The considerable prize money and the quality venue have attracted five top 10 players to Doha to start off their ATP season.
First round matchups to watch:
(4)Tomas Berdych vs. Ivo Karlovic
A tough opening round match for Tomas Berdych, who went 54-25 but didn’t win an ATP title in 2013. Ivo Karlovic owns a 3-2 h2h advantage against him and he won their only meeting last year indoors in Basel. The Croatian went 15-13 with 1 title at the ATP level in 2013 and dealt with injuries and adversity to post that mark. Berdych, by virtue of his much higher ranking and level of accomplishment still has to be the favorite, but he could be shocked again by Dr. Ivo.
Daniel Brands vs. Nikolay Davydenko
Brands went 24-23 at the ATP level in 2013 and broke into the top 60 for the first time. His great year featured a run to the semis in Doha as a qualifier last year and he has a lot of points to defend against the defending Doha finalist, Davydenko. Davydenko struggled in 2013, posting an even 22-22 ATP record. Davydenko is outside the top 50 and is also under a lot of pressure to defend points. Their h2h is split at 1 each but they have never met on hard courts, and this match is nearly impossible to predict, but I’ll give Brands a slight edge unless Davy finds his Doha 2013 form.
(2)David Ferrer vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov
Ferrer is 6-1 career h2h against Dolgopolov across all the surfaces, but their matches always tend to be entertaining and both are under pressure to perform in 2014. Ferrer continued his dogged play and intense tournament schedule, which helped him reach number 3 in the world, a career high in 2013. He will have to keep that up in 2014 though, as his 60-24 record with 2 ATP titles will be tough to repeat. To be fair, in 2012 he posted an even better record with 7 titles, so though he played better in 2012 statistically, his ranking improved in 2013.
Dolgopolov, meanwhile, took a huge step backward in 2013, and is nearly out of the top 60 now as the 25 year old went 24-27 at the ATP level. He struggled badly with severe slumps throughout the year and it is really hard to predict his 2014. I’m not bullish on his chances in this match, though.
Rafa Nadal will open his ATP season against Lukas Rosol, as the world number 1 can pad his ranking early in this part of the year (which he didn’t play in 2013). Rosol shocked Nadal at Wimbledon, but I don’t expect that to happen again as Rafa should set up a match against Malek Jaziri/Tobias Kamke in round 2 and a quarterfinal match against most likely Ernests Gulbis. Gulbis is also looking to keep improving in 2014, as he put together a quality 2013. The Latvian number 1 opens with a qualifier and then Dani Gimeno-Traver/Lukasz Kubot in round 2. I don’t think he will beat Nadal, however.
Berdych/Karlovic will play a qualifier or Ivan Dodig in round 2. Dodig is one to watch as he played well in 2013 and can put together quality tennis when he gets hot. The winner of that section will face Philipp Kohlschreiber most likely, as the German, who will looking to have a better 2014 than 2013, faces Pablo Andujar in round 1 and then a qualifier in round 2. This section is stacked with interesting players and matchups.
Ferrer/Dolgopolov will face Davydenko/Brands and then most likely Richard Gasquet, in the QFs. Gasquet had a great 2013, posting a 50-23 record with 3 ATP titles (one of them being Doha where he is the defending champion). Reeshy will play wild card Karim Hossam in round 1 and Santiago Giraldo/Gael Monfils in round 2. Monfils continued to struggle with injuries in 2013 but does have a history of success in Doha. It is just a matter of his form and his body holding up as to whether he can make a run. Gasquet went 2-0 against Ferrer in 2013, with both matches on hard courts, and Gasquet seems to have figured out a way to defeat him.
Andy Murray, coming off back surgery after an interesting 2013 in which he won Wimbledon but also because of the injury dropped out of the top 3 for now, will face Qatari wild card Mousa Shanan Zayed and then Michal Przysiezny/Florian Mayer in round 2. Murray played in the big exhibition in Abu Dhabi along with Ferrer and Nadal, so he does have some match play in and looks a bit rusty but fit. His quarterfinal opponent is most likely to be Fernando Verdasco or Joao Sousa. Verdasco plays Filippo Volandri in round 1 while Sousa, who had a breakthrough 2013 and captured an ATP title, opens with veteran player Victor Hanescu. Sousa/Verdasco vs Murray should be a good match.
Dark Horse: Gael Monfils
The Frenchman posted a 33-22 record in 2013 and is twice a former finalist in Doha, though he has never won the title. If he is healthy and in good form he certainly has the talent to defeat Giraldo, Gasquet and Ferrer in order to reach the semis, making him a dangerous dark horse to watch.
Nadal d. Berdych
Gasquet d. Murray
Nadal should cruise as he hasn’t lost to Berdych since 2007 and they have played a ton including 5 times in 2013.
I think Berdych will survive to reach the semis, though. Murray beat Gasquet once in 2013 on Miami hard courts, but that match went 3 sets. With Murray still recovering his form after the surgery, and Gasquet having a good record in Doha, I think Reeshy will knock him off.
Nadal d. Gasquet
Nadal has never lost to Gasquet as a professional player, and they have played many times. I expect the world number 1 to continue his tremendous play.