The Citi Open®, Washington, D.C.’s premier tennis tournament since 1969 and the fifth largest tennis event in the United States, has announced it will again host a WTA tournament in conjunction with 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 be held July 30 through August 7 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
Citi Open’s revived WTA 250 event will celebrate its 10th edition this summer with a stacked player field, featuring 32 singles competitors, 16 doubles teams and 16 qualifiers. The inaugural tournament was staged in 2011 at College Park, MD and moved venues to Washington in 2012. Past champions include Jessica Pegula, Sloane Stephens and the doubles team of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.
“Our Washington, D.C. 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. Our city and event attendees are avid women’s tennis fans, and tennis, uniquely among pro sports, showcases both genders on its biggest stages. Presenting a combined tournament with men’s and women’s players has always been the goal for the Citi Open,” said Mark Ein, Citi Open Chairman. “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 both its return to D.C. this summer, as well as another big pro tournament coming back to the United States.”
In April 2019, MDE Sports, owned and led by Washington-based venture capitalist, entrepreneur and civic leader Ein, acquired the management rights of the Citi Open tournament from the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), a non-profit which provides free tennis and educational programs for children in underserved communities. This acquisition secured the Citi Open’s future in the U.S. and specifically in Washington.
MDE Sports has pursued ensuring that a WTA tournament is part of the long-term future for the Citi Open, with the objective of supporting women’s tennis, guaranteeing the game thrives in the U.S. and providing an opportunity for Washington’s large base of tennis fans to enjoy women’s tennis with a combined event.
“I am delighted the Citi Open is returning to the WTA tennis calendar this summer,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO. “The tournament and the Washington community have a rich history on the Hologic WTA Tour, with many of the game’s biggest names gracing the courts in previous editions in the nation’s capital. I am grateful to the tournament organizers for their support and for providing the world’s best women’s tennis players the opportunity to showcase their talent.”
The tournament team worked with Citi to ensure that women’s tennis remained a significant element of the event, as a commitment to educate, advocate and support women in sports.
“Citi is committed to advancing gender equity within our walls and in the communities we serve across the globe,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs, Citi. “We are proud that women’s tennis is returning to the Citi Open tournament in D.C. because we know representation can transform societal perceptions and profoundly impact gender equity, especially in sports.”
For more than 50 years, the Citi Open has hosted top tennis talent in 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, capitalizes on the tournament annually for fundraising and has raised millions for youth programs in the Washington area.
“As the Sports Capital, we are thrilled to welcome women’s professional tennis alongside the men’s at the Citi Open. Representation matters – and this event provides our future female tennis stars an 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 thankful for the commitment to ensuring 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, shattering previous attendance records and selling out all sessions throughout the week. Full tournament packages are on sale now and can be purchased via email at email@example.com or by calling (202) 721-9500. To learn more about the tournament, ticket options, player fields, event policies and more, visit citiopentennis.com.