2012 Citi Open Player Field Announced
Tournament welcomes world No. 12 Mardy Fish and Features Top International Players Alexandr Dolgopolov, Kevin Anderson, Mikhail Youzhny, Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas and returning American star Sam Querrey.
Tournament features a WTA International Level event led by Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and will showcase rising American stars, Sloane Stephens and Vania King.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 25, 2012 – Tournament officials today announced the entry list for the 2012 Citi Open (formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic), an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour 500 event and a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) International Level event. The Citi Open will take place July 28 – August 5 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the Citi Open benefit the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), which seeks to improve the lives of D.C.-area youth.
The men’s 32 singles draw is led by No. 12-ranked American Mardy Fish and Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov. Fish, the Olympic Silver Medalist who helped the U.S. defeat Switzerland in Davis Cup action this year, is hoping to claim his seventh singles title and first Citi Open title during his seventh appearance at the event. Dolgopolov, the top-ranked Ukrainian pro who has been ranked as high as No. 13 in the world, has an entertaining playing style that will thrill fans this summer as he makes his Washington, D.C. debut.
Additional players include Kevin Anderson, the top-ranked South African who broke into the top 30 this year, and former top 10 ranked players U.S. Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny (formerly ranked No. 8) and Tommy Robredo (formerly ranked No. 5). Also slated to return is former world No. 2 and Citi Open veteran Tommy Haas, who claimed his 13th career singles title last week after beating Roger Federer in Halle, Germany. American Sam Querrey, a semifinalist at the AEGON Championships in England last week, will be making his fourth career Citi Open tournament appearance.
For the first time in the event’s history, the Citi Open has expanded the field to include a WTA tournament. The event’s first women’s field is led by 20-year-old Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a former World No. 13 and multiple junior Grand Slam champion, and features teen American sensation Sloane Stephens, who is currently ranked a career-high 57th in the world. Stephens first gained notoriety in 2010 with a run into the third round of the U.S. Open and is coming off an impressive fourth round finish at this year’s French Open and a second round finish at the Australian Open. At just 19 years old, Stephens is the youngest woman ranked in the WTA top 100. The field also includes former world No. 5 and U.S. Open semifinalist Anna Chakvetadze; 2010 U.S. Open and Wimbledon Double’s Champion American Vania King and former top 25 ranked Virginie Razzano. Razzano recently advanced to the second round at Rolland Garros after handing top-ranked American Serena Williams her first-ever first round defeat at a Grand Slam event.
“2012 marks a very special year for the tournament,” said Donald Dell, Group President of Lagardère Unlimited and Tournament Chairman. “We have a new title sponsor in Citi and an incredibly competitive player field on the men’s side that includes top players from around the world. But moreover, are also introducing a WTA event to the tournament for the first time in our 43-year history, offering fans the ultimate tennis experience.”
Both entry lists represent players from more than 20 different countries and boast strong player fields with a rankings cut-off of 84 for the men and top 100 for the women. The official player acceptance lists account for 24 of the 32 spots in main draw singles. Wildcards (4) and Qualifiers (4) – to be determined at a later date – will complete the field, which can be viewed at http://www.citiopentennis.com/players
The tournament announced the new additions of Citi as title sponsor and the inclusion of the WTA event in April of this year. The 2012 Citi Open ATP World Tour 500 Level men’s event is recognized as one of the top 20 ATP events in the world offering nearly $1.5 million in prize money. The WTA tournament, which was historically held the week before the then-Legg Mason Tennis Classic, will now be played simultaneously with the men’s event in Rock Creek Park and offers $220,000 in prize money. The tournaments are collectively named the Citi Open. Additional player announcements and fan enhancements will be made at a later date.
MORE THAN 20 OF THE TOP 100 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD
2012 Emirates US Open Series Early Summer Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
This summer, the ATP and WTA tours will return to the US for the always-exciting US Open Series, which runs from the 2nd week of July until the US Open in August/September. Formerly sponsored by Olympus, but now sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the US Open Series offers the same set of great tournaments in different parts of the US that will certainly bring many American fans out to watch world-class professional tennis. TennisEastCoast.com should be able to offer on site coverage from at least two of the US Open Series events (Atlanta and D.C) in addition to Newport.
The ATP side of the US Open Series features tournaments in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Toronto, Cincinnati and Winston-Salem, in addition to the ATP tournament in Newport the week after Wimbledon. Here is an early preview of the first two ATP events.
2012 Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships July 7-15
While not technically a part of the US Open series, the ATP 250 event in Newport, Rhode Island is held on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and offers a great experience from the fans perspective. It is a ‘blast from the past’ played in a cozy grass court environment with the players in all white and spectators often dressed in more traditional attire. It brings you back to a different era. All that is missing are the wooden racquets.
The very modern world of pro tennis comes to Newport right after Wimbledon, and current top 10 John Isner will join players such as Tommy Haas (who just knocked off Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in Munich this week), young guns Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla and Grigor Dimitrov, Bucharest semi-finalist Matthias Bachinger, ‘Marathon Man’ Nicolas Mahut, Ryan Sweeting and Sam Querrey. Sweeting and Querrey are both hoping to build on their recent success. The event will also feature the serve and volleying Olivier Rochus, big man Ivo Karlovic and Matt Ebden, Delray semifinalist Dudi Sela, Germans Tobias Kamke, Michael Berrer, serve and volleyer Denis Gremalmayr, Mischa Zverev and a South American contingent that features Brian Dabul, Sebastien Decoud and Paul Capedeville. Lleyton Hewitt will also continue his comeback from injury here trying for some good results.
Rochus and Isner played in the final last year with Isner taking home the title while Kamke was one of the semi-finalists. Harrison and Ebden took home the doubles title. Isner beat the ”Casino Curse” last year in becoming the first top seeded to player to actually win the event.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame itself is a big draw and another reason to attend. The Hall features all sorts of exhibits on the sport of tennis and it’s storied history along with plaques of the great players, coaches and other contributors to the sport who have been inducted on both the men’s and women’s side. The 2012 Hall of Fame class, headlined by Jennifer Capriati, will be inducted during the tournament.
2012 BB&T Atlanta Open July 14-22
The first event of the US Open series (and its youngest, now in its 3rd year) is the ATP 250 series event in Atlanta. It features a state of the art, newly built venue this year located in the heart of downtown Atlanta and a great field to go with it.
Newly sponsored by BB&T, the field is set to feature American favorites John Isner and Andy Roddick along with rising American star Jack Sock (who has had some good results before suffering injury). The Americans will be joined by Kei Nishikori of Japan, who continues to improve his play and his ranking. Kevin Anderson of South Africa, the former University of Illinois stand out, will also compete in Atlanta. Mardy Fish took the title over Isner last year, while Alex Bogomolov and Matt Ebden took home the doubles title.
Atlanta has always been a great place for tennis and with the new setting and sponsor, the ATP tour event is on the path for greater, continued success. If you are a tennis fan in the south, this is a great event to attend.
2012 US Men’s Clay Court Championship, ATP Houston Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
US Men’s Clay Court Championship
ATP World Tour 250
April 9-15, 2012
Prize Money: $442,500
Some of the top Americans and players from around the globe will descend upon River Oaks Racquet Club in Houston, Texas for the US Men’s Clay Court Championship, an ATP 250 series tournament and the first ATP event on clay in the US this year. The ATP Houston event runs April 9-15. Here’s a preview of the singles draw.
Seeds: (top 4 seeds get 1st round byes)
1: Mardy Fish
2: John Isner
3: Feliciano Lopez
4: Juan Monaco
5: Kevin Anderson
6: Carlos Berlocq
7: Alex Bogomolov
8: Ivo Karlovic
1st Round matchups to watch:
Xaiver Malisse vs. Igor Kunitsyn
In a battle of ATP world tour veterans, the Belgian Malisse will serve it up against the veteran Russian Kunitsyn. Both players have interesting games, while Malisse should be the fresher of the two players as Kunitsyn played the Tallahassee challenger last week, losing to Tim Smyzcek in the quarters on Thursday.
Ryan Harrison vs. Alex Bogomolov
Harrison, coming off his play in the Davis Cup against France, will take on the 7 seed Bogolomov in what should be an interesting matchup of both style and skill. While being the lower ranked player, Harrison should be nominally favored but a lot of that depends on his fatigue from the Davis Cup this weekend.
Joao Souza vs. Kevin Anderson
The tall, hard serving South African Anderson who has had some good results this year will take on Brazilian dirtballer Souza whose favorite surface is clay.
Ivo Karlovic vs. Bobby Reynolds
Can the American Reynolds hold up against the hard serving Karlovic, who also played Davis Cup this weekend for Croatia?
Top seed Mardy Fish, who was forced to withdraw from Davis Cup play this weekend but performed well against the Swiss on clay, faces the possibility of playing Spanish dirtballer Daniel-Gimeno-Traver or a qualifier in the 2nd round but otherwise, his draw doesn’t look too challenging as the seed he would be slated to face in the quarters is Alex Bogolomov. Kunitsyn, Malisse and Harrison are other likely matchups. A possible semi-final battle with Juan Monaco looms large though and while Monaco is only the 4 seed, he would certainly be favored on clay over Fish. For Monaco’s part, he will likely face Anderson in the quarters but he will be favored in all of his matches.
2 seed John Isner,who has really picked up his clay court game including wins over Roger Federer and Gilles Simon on the clay in Davis Cup play, faces a draw that could give him a quarter final match up against defending Houston champion Ryan Sweeting and a semi-final match up against veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. As for the defending champion, Sweeting, he will face a qualifier in the 1st round and then a possible 2nd round matchup against the always hard to handle Ivo Karlovic. If he can get that far, he would likely face Isner in the quarters.
6 seed Carlos Berlocq of Argentina, who has performed well on clay this year, gets James Blake in the 1st round and fellow countryman Diego Junquiera or veteran German Bjorn Phau in the 2nd round. He could have a quarter final match up with the 3 seed Lopez, who will face either Wayne Odesnik or Paolo Lorenzi in the 2nd round.
Dark Horse: Daniel Gimeno-Traver
The veteran Spaniard loves the clay and has always played his best on the surface. If he can get past a qualifier in the 1st round and then notch a victory against the somewhat slumping Mardy Fish (who is never that comfortable on clay anyway), the only other seeded players he would have to face en route to the final would be Bogomolov and Juan Monaco. It is a winnable draw if he has a good week.
Monaco d. Gimeno-Traver
Berlocq d. Isner
Monaco d. Berlocq
ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez and Darren Cahill held a conference call today wherein they discussed current events and observations of the game.
For one, Fernandez is fond of Christina McHale:
Christina is such a hard worker, with a great disposition. She wants to keep improving her game and she had a really good week. The next step for her is to finish off her matches. She had bad luck not finishing off Kerber, but I was proud of how she finished against Kvitova. She knows the keys to improving and her ranking just keeps going up.
Cahill was asked if he would compare the men’s top 10 of today to the top ten of ten years ago.
Every generation is different, but if you go back to Chang or Krajicek, Sampras and the others, if you were outside the top 10, if you could step your game up a notch, you felt like you had a chance. Now, these players today, the top 4, are more physical than I’ve ever seen. Djokovic had problems with his serve. He solved that problem. (Today’s Top 4) are the best movers and the best returners, too. We’re very lucky to be in this era.
On the hindrance rule of which Serena Williams fell afoul in last year’s US Open and Mardy Fish violated at Indian Wells before retiring to Matthew Ebden:
MJF: If you say “C’mon!” before the point is over, that’s hindrance. I think it was a good call on Serena at the US Open.
DC: The rule is quite simple. The point is awarded to the other player. Even if you smash a point and yell ‘come on’ before the second bounce. There needs to be a little more common sense in interpreting the rule. That was pretty rough that Mardy lost that point.
After declaring that Nick Bollettieri should definitely be in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Cahill opined to Tennis Maryland on the difficulties of a younger coach coming along in the style that Bollettieri or Braden did.
The question of putting together a tennis academy is much tougher than it once was. The elite juniors of the world and their associations hire away good coaches. But the best coaches in the world are the ones whose names we don’t know. They’re the ones on court with the 8-to-12 year olds day in and day out.
With a third round record of 12-4, any prognosticator would want to rest on his laurels. Not Boys Latin Coach Magee. From here, the waters get rough, but he’s taking the plunge. These picks are for amusement purposes only:
Simon over Isner
Murray over Young
Ferrer over Roddick (as much as it kills Coach to say it)
Nadal over Muller
Djokovic over Dolgolopov
Ferrero over Tipsy
Federer over Monaco
Fish over Tsonga – Tough call
Coach believes that Fish’s game, unlike most newly married players, has sharpened with matrimony. Between his newly found fitness, winning the US Open Series and the New York crowd behind him, he is becoming America’s newest superhero, MARRIED MARTY MAN.
Boys’ Latin Tennis Coach and Senior Contributor Jim Magee shares his men’s picks for US Open play for the 3rd round.
Djokovic over Davydenko
Karlovic over Dolgopolov
Federer over Cilic
Isner over Bogmolov Jr.
Murray over Lopez
Ferrer over Mayer
Roddick over Benneteau
Muller over Kunitsyn
Nadal over Nalbandian
Here’s his matches to watch:
(Most interesting matches-favored player)
1-Tsongas over Verdasco
2-Fish over Anderson
(Most interesting upsets)
1-DelPotro over Simon
2-Haas over Monaco
3-Young over Chela
(Most Interesting retires)
Ferrero o Granollers-ret
Tipsarevic o Berdych-ret
Coach picked Ferrero anyway and will take himin the next round against Tipsy.
American ATP rising star Ryan Harrison, a Shreveport, Louisiana native, has a very good spiral and a very good chance of backing up Drew Brees. He warmed up before practice on Monday right behind Blake and Devvarman on the South practice courts.
2010 Wimbledon Doubles Champion Philipp Petzschner got mad in his first round loss against Radek Stepanek at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic tonight. He didn’t take it out on his opponent, but on his loving racquet instead.
These kids don’t climb trees. They chase him. John Isner was on his way to sacred practice court time and just couldn’t. One kid asked him which team he played for. I blame World Team Tennis for accidentally messing with kid’s heads.
Finally, there is Just James, coolly practicing on a hot Monday in Rock Creek Park.
By 4:30 pm today, the first professional tennis tournament in Maryland history will have a champion. We root for underdogs all the time, so today’s #1 vs. #2 final is not what we’d hoped but everything for which we could have asked.
Throwing all of that away, we are backing Shahar Peer today for all the money ($37,000 to be exact). Her inspired play and passionate fans make her an exciting player to watch.
The video above shows her final game and match point in yesterday’s win over Paszek in the semis.
The doubles final will immediately follow, and it’s #1 vs. #2 again. Sonia Mirza and Yaroslava Shvedova face #2 Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva.
LEGG MASON UPDATE:
Today is Denis Kudla day on Stadium Court. The Arlington-native and College Park-trained player is a cross-town DC rising star, and expect the crowd to root for him in the first main draw match of the tournament.
Also, don’t forget: Verdasco and Fish play today. Just not in DC. Fernando Verdasco has reached the final at Gstaad, and Mardy Fish goes for the championship in Los Angeles. Both will be headed to Dulles as soon as the day is over.
Matthew Ebden will be glad he didn’t draw another UVA player today. Maybe he can keep the crowd out of it. UVA rising freshman Mitchell Frank may have lost his match to Ebden at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, DC yesterday, but he won the crowd. Nearly a thousand Cavalier faithful easily made this match the most raucous at Legg Mason Qualifying in years. Our video is near the end of the match as Frank is facing defeat. We wished we could have shown you the second set, won by Frank, where the Chair Umpire couldn’t even count how many times he had to settle the crowd.
ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2011
STADIUM start 11:00 am
Qualifying – T Smyczek (USA) vs A Kuznetsov (USA)
Not Before 1:00 PM
Qualifying – M Matosevic (AUS) vs A Delic (BIH)
Not Before 3:00 PM
[WC] D Kudla (USA) vs T Kamke (GER)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
Qualifying – C Guccione (AUS) vs J Witten (USA)
Qualifying – W Odesnik (USA) vs R Ram (USA)
COURT 1 start 10:00 am
Qualifying – M Ebden (AUS) vs P Simmonds (USA)
Qualifying – [WC] N Massu (CHI) vs A Sitak (NZL)