Washington Open (tennis)
The Washington Open (known as the Citi Open for sponsorship reasons) is an annual hard court tennis tournament played at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. The Washington Open is part of the ATP World Tour 500 and WTA International circuits.
|Tour||ATP World Tour|
|Location||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Venue||William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center|
|Category||ATP World Tour 500|
SportMaster Sport Surfaces
|Draw||48S/24Q/16D (men) 32S/16Q/16D (women)|
|Current champions (2019)|
|Men's singles||Nick Kyrgios|
|Women's singles||Jessica Pegula|
|Men's doubles|| Raven Klaasen|
|Women's doubles|| Caty McNally|
The Citi Open, formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, has been part of some of the most innovative changes in tennis, including blue courts, instant replay/video boards in the stadium, US Open Series, Sunday Main Draw start and, starting in 2009, an ATP "500" level tournament. The DC based tournament part of the US Open Series, a series of North American events leading into the last Grand Slam tournament of the season, the US Open. After the 2014 edition, the Washington Open dropped out of the US Open Series, showing frustration over US Open Series broadcaster ESPN providing little coverage of the tournament on television. As of 2019, the Washington Open has rejoined the series, but still maintains the broadcast agreement it had reached with Tennis Channel.
The tournament was first held on the men's tour in 1969, known as the Washington Star International between 1969 and 1981, as the Sovran Bank Classic from 1982 to 1992, as the Newsweek Tennis Classic in 1993, and as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic from 1994 to 2011. Competition was held on outdoor clay courts until 1986, when it switched to the current hard courts. Throughout its existence, the tournament has been closely associated with Donald Dell, founder of ProServ International, who was instrumental in its creation, as well as John A. Harris, founder of Potomac Ventures Investments. The location of the event in Washington, D.C. was chosen at the urging of Arthur Ashe, an early supporter.
The women's event was first held in 2011 in College Park, Maryland as the Citi Open, and for the 2012 season, the ATP and WTA decided to merge their Maryland and Washington spots into a joint tournament, with the women's event moving to the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, and Citi taking over Legg Mason as title sponsor of the joint event.
In 2015, the Washington Open dropped out of the US Open Series. Due to its ownership of rights to the US Open beginning that year, ESPN began holding exclusive domestic broadcast rights to all US Open Series events . However, the network only promised that a minimum of four hours of coverage would be aired on ESPN2 (in 2014, coverage was split between ESPN and Tennis Channel), relegating the remainder to ESPN3 online streaming. Donald Dell criticized ESPN for using ESPN3 to acquire sports rights without any intent to broadcast them on television, stating "If you're running a tournament, and it's two million dollars, and sponsorship money in the six million to eight million dollar range, you've got sponsors that don't want to be having only four or six hours on television." As a result, the Citi Open withdrew from the US Open Series so it could establish a new broadcast rights agreement with Tennis Channel. The four-year, $2.1 million deal included 171 hours of television coverage spanning the entire tournament, and funding for additional amenities (including a second televised court).
A portion of the proceeds from the Citi Open benefit the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF). The WTEF seeks to improve the life prospects for DC area youth, particularly those from lower-income communities, through tennis, educational and community-based activities that teach discipline, build self-esteem and improve academic performance. If you are interested in learning more about how you can support the WTEF, please call (202) 291-9888 or visit www.wtef.org
In the men's singles, Andre Agassi (1990–91, 1995, 1998–99) holds the records for most titles (five) and most finals overall (six, runner-up in 2000). He also shares with Michael Chang (1996–97), Juan Martín del Potro (2008–09) and Alexander Zverev (2017–18) the record for most consecutive titles, with two. In the women's singles, Magdaléna Rybáriková (2012–13) holds the record for most titles (two) and co-holds the record for most finals (two) with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (runner-up in 2012, 2015). In the men's doubles, Marty Riessen (1971–72, 1974, 1979) and the Bryan brothers (2005–07, 2015) hold the record for most titles (four), with the Bryans also holding the record for most consecutive titles (three). The Bryans co-hold the record for most finals (six, runners-up in 2001–02) with Raúl Ramírez (winner in 1976, 1981–82, runner-up in 1975, 1978–79). In the women's doubles, Shuko Aoyama (2012–14) holds alone the record for most titles, most consecutive titles and most finals (three).
|2011||Nadia Petrova||Shahar Pe'er||7–5, 6–2|
|2012||Magdaléna Rybáriková||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova||6–1, 6–1|
|2013||Magdaléna Rybáriková (2)||Andrea Petkovic||6–4, 7–6(7–2)|
|2014||Svetlana Kuznetsova||Kurumi Nara||6–3, 4–6, 6–4|
|2015||Sloane Stephens||Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova||6–1, 6–2|
|2016||Yanina Wickmayer||Lauren Davis||6–4, 6–2|
|2017||Ekaterina Makarova||Julia Görges||3–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–0|
|2018||Svetlana Kuznetsova (2)||Donna Vekić||4–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–2|
|2019||Jessica Pegula||Camila Giorgi||6–2, 6–2|
|2020||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak|
|2011|| Sania Mirza
| Olga Govortsova
|2012|| Shuko Aoyama
| Irina Falconi
|2013|| Shuko Aoyama (2)
| Eugenie Bouchard
|2014|| Shuko Aoyama (3)
| Hiroko Kuwata
|2015|| Belinda Bencic
| Lara Arruabarrena
|2016|| Monica Niculescu
| Shuko Aoyama
|2017|| Shuko Aoyama (4)
| Eugenie Bouchard
|2018|| Han Xinyun
| Alexa Guarachi
|2019|| Caty McNally
| Maria Sanchez
|2020||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak|
- "Legg Mason Classic in Washington, D.C. changes name to Citi Open – ESPN". ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
- Reynolds, Mike. "Tennis, ESPN2 Serve Up 230-Plus U.S. Open Series Hours". Multichannel. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
- Rothenberg, Ben. "Why DC's Citi Open separated from U.S. Open Series". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
- "DC's Citi Open Bumped Out Of U.S. Open Series Due To TV Deal With Tennis Channel". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
- "Citi Open returns to US Open Series for 2019". US Open Series. Retrieved 2019-08-02.