The Citi Open, otherwise known as the Washington Open, is a pro tennis tournament that takes place each year in Washington, D.C.
Many people come from all over the world to watch this tournament where many political big names are bound to be in attendance due to its location in the US capitol.
Below, we’ll look into the details about this tournament so you can be prepared if you are going to be a spectator in the D.C. area for this tennis event.
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Table of Contents
About the Citi Open
How to Get Tickets to the Citi Open
Where to Stay in Washington D.C. for the Citi Open
Getting Around Washington D.C.
How to Make Your Citi Open Experience Great
How to Watch the Citi Open Tournament on TV
The Citi Open tournament used to be called the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. It’s now called the Citi Open tournament from a sponsorship deal with CitiBank.
The event itself was founded in 1969, so while it may not be one of the oldest professional tennis tournaments, it’s still a big event that tennis fans look forward to seeing each year.
The tournament has both a men’s (ATP) and women’s (WTA) draw, and is part of the US Open series of tournaments that lead up to the US Open, the year’s final grand slam event.
The Citi Open Tournament takes place in the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C.
The tennis club is the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in a neighborhood called Rock Creek Park. Many people, and the Citi Open website, also refer to the event’s location as the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
The tournament typically takes place in the summer, from late July through early August. It is usually one week before Canada’s Rogers Cup tournament.
The dates for 2021 have been set for July 31 – August 8.
The 2020 Citi Open was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
The current champions of the Citi Open for 2019 are the following players:
This tournament is played on hard courts.
Rock Creek Park Tennis Center has 15 hard courts made of acrylic that holds up very well to outdoor weather conditions. They also have clay courts that are not used for the tournament.
In 2019, the prize money for the Citi Open in total was around $2.5 million.
For the 2019 Citi Open, the men’s single winner received almost $400,000, while the runner-up was awarded almost $200,000.
The women’s winner received $43,000, while the runner-up was awarded $21,000 in 2019.
One reason for the disparity is that this is considered a bigger tournament for the ATP tour than the WTA.
Below are the points for each round for both the singles and doubles draws of the Citi Open.
|Men’s ATP Points||Women’s WTA Points|
|Rd. of 16||45 singles | 0 doubles||30 singles | 1 doubles|
|Rd. of 32||20 singles | 0 doubles||1 singles | 0 doubles|
You can buy all different types of ticket options through the Citi Open website. This includes single session tickets, full-day pass tickets, and premium seating options.
Because this isn’t one of the bigger tournaments of the year, especially for the women, you won’t often find some of the biggest names in the draw. However, you will still see plenty of top 10 and 20 players in the men’s draw.
In 2019, Federer, Nadal, and Serena didn’t play in the Citi Open.
You can purchase reserved seats at the main stadium, which seats 7500 people. This stadium is called the Fitzgerald Tennis Center. You will want to get tickets to the last few days of the event when the finals are played.
There are many different hotel options in the D.C. area, but you are going to want to stay as close to Rock Creek Park to avoid some of the traffic getting to and from the stadium.
You can also avoid the hotel experience and go with Airbnb. This will allow you to stay in an apartment, with a family renting out a room, a guest house, or an entire house.
These hotels are 4-5 star rated hotels all within a three-mile radius of the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.
If you want to save a little bit of money, you can go with a 2-3 star hotel. Here are some great options in the D.C. area.
These hotels are also two to three miles away from the tennis center.
Considering that all of the hotels are two to three miles away, the best way to get from your hotel to the event is by rental car, taxi cab, Uber, or Lyft.
You can also travel by a city bus which is operated by Metro D.C. The hotels are near the Silver Springs bus station.
The main stadium holds 7500 people and has 31 air conditioned theater-style boxed seating. It’s a cozy stadium where there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house.
The grounds around the tennis center are ripe with special events. You can see various food trucks, tailgating, specific junior events for kids, and even a special ladies day.
You definitely want to arrive early to experience everything the event has to offer. There is parking onsite, so if you have a car it’s pretty easy to park for a fee.
Even if you have a reserved ticket, the outer court seating is first come first serve, so you’ll want to grab your seat early if there is a specific match you’d like to see.
You are not allowed to bring in any outside food or drink, that includes coolers or picnic baskets.
There is a huge variety of food and drink selections inside, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Since this event takes place in the summer, make sure you bring sunscreen, a hat, and clothing you’ll be comfortable in with the scorching heat of the D.C. hot season.
Expect lots of places to choose from to buy food and drink at the event. You can also purchase different tennis gear and souvenirs highlighting the best players.
The grounds are pretty expansive as well, so make sure you wear some comfortable shoes so you can walk around the different courts.
The early rounds of the Citi Open aren’t televised on any of the major networks, but you can watch some of the action on the Tennis Channel. You can also subscribe to the Tennis Channel Plus and stream the event live on any of your compatible devices.
The semifinals and finals for the men are typically on ESPN or ESPN2.
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Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played tennis for over two decades, including in college. Will has worked with ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He currently lives in Austin TX where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments, writes about tennis, and teaches doubles workshops.