WASHINGTON DC — the open city®, Washington, DC’s premier tennis tournament since 1969 and the fifth largest tennis event in the United States, has announced that it will once again host a WTA tournament alongside its current ATP event. The Citi Open tournament is one of only five combined tour events in the country, featuring competition from both the ATP and WTA. The 2022 tournament will take place from July 30 to August 7 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
The revived Citi Open WTA 250 event will celebrate its 10th edition this summer with a packed field, featuring 32 singles competitors, 16 doubles teams and 16 qualifiers. The inaugural tournament was held in 2011 in College Park, MD and moved to Washington in 2012. Past champions include Jessica Pegula, Sloane Stephens, and the doubles team of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.
“Our Washington, DC community has embraced professional women’s tennis since World TeamTennis first came here in 2008 and the Citi Open tournament hosted its first WTA event in 2011,” said Mark Ein, President of the Citi Open. “Our city and event attendees are avid fans of women’s tennis, and tennis, unique among professional sports, showcases both genders on its biggest stages. Presenting a mixed tournament with male and female players has always been the goal of the Citi Open. For the past two years, we have worked tirelessly to bring the Hologic WTA Tour back to our event and we are thrilled to announce its return to DC this summer, as well as another major professional tournament returning to the United States.”
In April 2019, MDE Sports, owned and run by Washington-based venture capitalist, entrepreneur and civic leader Ein, acquired management rights to the Citi Open tournament from the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), a nonprofit organization. for-profit organization that provides tennis and educational programs for children in underserved communities. This acquisition secured the future of the Citi Open in the United States and specifically in Washington.
MDE Sports has worked hard to ensure that a WTA tournament is part of the long-term future of the Citi Open, with the goal of supporting women’s tennis, ensuring that the game thrives in the US, and providing an opportunity for Washington’s large tennis fan base enjoys women’s tennis with a combined event.
“I am delighted that the Citi Open is returning to the WTA tennis calendar this summer,” said Steve Simon, WTA President and CEO. “The Washington tournament and community have a rich history on the Hologic WTA Tour, with many of the game’s biggest names taking to the courts at previous editions in the nation’s capital. I am grateful to the tournament organizers for their support and for giving the best tennis players in the world the opportunity to showcase their talent.”
The tournament team worked with Citi to ensure that women’s tennis remained an important element of the event, as a commitment to educate, advocate and support women in sports.
“Citi is committed to advancing gender equality within our walls and in the communities we serve around the world,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Director of Global Public Affairs. “We are proud that women’s tennis is returning to the Citi Open tournament in DC because we know that representation can transform societal perceptions and profoundly impact gender equality, especially in sports.”
For more than 50 years, the Citi Open has hosted the best tennis talent at Rock Creek Park. The tournament was founded to support Arthur Ashe’s vision of playing a professional tennis tournament in a fully accessible public park. The Citi Open has continued to build and expand the event, with the goal of positively impacting the Washington community and creating one of the best events in the world. The WTEF, a longtime beneficiary of the Citi Open, uses the tournament annually as a fundraiser and has raised millions for youth programs in the Washington area.
“As the Capital of Sport, we are delighted to welcome women’s professional tennis alongside men’s at the Citi Open. Representation is important, and this event gives our future tennis stars the opportunity to see professional athletes compete on a national stage in their own community,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “The Citi Open is always an exciting time in DC, bringing entertainment and jobs. We are grateful for the commitment to ensure equitable access to a sport loved by so many Washingtonians.”
Planning and player commitments are underway for the 2022 Citi Open. Last year’s tournament was the most successful in the event’s history, breaking previous attendance records and selling out every session for the week. Full tournament packages are on sale now and can be purchased by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (202) 721-9500. For more information about the tournament, ticket options, player fields, event policies and more, visit citiopentennis.com.