D.C.’s Citi Open Tennis Tournament Underway After Two-Year Hiatus (photos)

Tennis great Rafael Nadal was the headliner as the Citi Open returned to the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, July 31. Fans were delighted to learn just weeks earlier that the tournament had been permitted to admit full-capacity crowds. Last year’s Citi Open was cancelled just 23 days prior to its scheduled start due to pandemic safety concerns and travel restrictions.

Nadal of Spain, the ATP World Tour No. 3-ranked men’s singles player and 20-time Grand Slam tournament champion will begin his bid to win an 89th ATP singles title in his first Citi Open appearance when he opens play on Wednesday. Fans on Saturday could not wait to see their star and twice packed into the Stadium Court to watch him take several practice swings. He has not competed since the French Open in June.

The 2021 Citi Open will boast seven Top 30 players, including Wimbledon quarter-finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, plus defending 2019 Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios. U.S. Olympic team stars Coco Gauff, Jennifer Brady, and Jessica Pegula will headline the inaugural Citi Open Women’s Invitational. Gauff was a Citi Open women’s doubles champion in 2019 competing as a 15-year-old. It was her first pro title.

The gates opened on Saturday morning for the men’s qualifying events. Attendees would notice various upgrades throughout the tournament grounds arranged to allow more options for eating, drinking and gathering outdoors.

View Jeff Malet’s action photos from courtside on opening day by clicking on the photo icon’s below.


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