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 Roland 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 Lagardere 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, we 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 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 $1.5M 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.
An integral part of the sports and entertainment fabric of Washington, D.C. for 43 years, the Citi Open, a Lagardère Unlimited production, is owned by and benefits WTEF, a non-profit organization designed to help disadvantaged Washington, D.C.-area youth through tennis and educational programs. To learn more about WTEF and its programs, please visit http://www.wtef.org/index.php.
For more information about the Citi Open and tickets please visit www.citiopentennis.com or call the tournament hotline at 202-721-9500.
The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) was founded in 1955 as an organization designed to help disadvantaged youth through tennis. Since then, it has evolved into an organization that provides academic help to at-risk children, by helping them to apply the lessons learned on the tennis court in the classroom and beyond. Today, WTEF is a leader in the best practice of providing academic enrichment, supplemented by tennis and life skills instruction, as a means for developing the skills necessary to achieve academic and personal success. WTEF seeks to improve the life prospects of DC area youth, particularly those from low-income communities, through tennis, educational, and community-building activities that teach discipline, build confidence, and improve academic performance. www.wtef.org
About Lagarde`re Unlimited
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