This Month's Event will Include a Women's Tournament
With a new title sponsor, the District's annual tennis tournament has received a major makeover. Formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the event is now called the Citi Open. Americans Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish will once again participate in Washington's hard-court classic.
This year, the tournament will incorporate a women's event that will include ascending American Sloane Stephens, 19, who advanced to the fourth round of the French Open last month. Both tournaments will be played at the event's traditional site, the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, from July 28--Aug. 5.
The date overlaps with the 2012 Summer Olympics, thus, the men's field has been trimmed to 32 and will be missing three-time champion Andy Roddick, 2007 finalist John Isner and doubles specialists Mike and Bob Bryan, who will play for the U.S. Olympic team.
Fish, won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games, and is currently ranked 12th in the world. He opted out of the Olympics this year because he prefers to prepare for the U.S. Open on the North American hard court circuit. This will be Fish's seventh appearance in the tournament. Querrey will be back for a fourth time.
Tommy Haas has committed to play, and he'll be joined by South Africa's Kevin Anderson, Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, two-time U.S. Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny and former No. 5 Tommy Robredo.
The women's event is a WTA international-level tournament, one step below the elite ranks for points awarded and prize money. It will be led by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 20, who's been ranked as high as No. 13; and Stephens, who has risen to a career-high 57th in the world after her outstanding play in this year's French Open. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stephens is the youngest woman currently ranked in the WTA's top 100.
The 2012 Citi Open men's tournament is an ATP World Tour 500 level event, and based on its prize money (nearly $1.5 million), is classified among the top 20 ATP events in the world. The women's tournament has $220,000 in prize money.
The tournament is now in its 43rd year, and is owned by its beneficiary, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which provides tennis instruction and academic help to Washington-area kids, particularly those from low-income neighborhoods.