With a new title sponsor, the city’s long-running tennis tournament (formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic) is now known as the Citi Open. The full field will be announced Monday.
Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey headline made over Citi Open
And it’s incorporating a women’s event, as well, that will include rising American Sloane Stephens, 19, who reached the French Open’s fourth round earlier this month.
Both tournaments will be contested at the event’s traditional site, the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park, from July 28 to Aug. 5.
Because the date overlaps with the 2012 Olympics, the men’s field has been pared to 32 and will be missing three-time champion Andy Roddick, 2007 finalist John Isner and doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan, who will be part of the U.S. Olympic team.
Fish, currently ranked 12th in the world, won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games but opted out of the Olympics this year, preferring to prepare for the U.S. Open on the North American hard court circuit.
It will be Fish’s seventh appearance in Washington. Querrey returns for a fourth time.
Tommy Haas, who recently upset Roger Federer at a grass-court tuneup in Halle, Germany, also has committed to play. He’ll be joined by Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, 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 rung below the elite ranks for prize money and points awarded. It will be led by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 20, who has been ranked as high as No. 13; and Stephens, who climbed to a career-high 57th in the world following her impressive French Open. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Stephens is the youngest woman currently ranked in the WTA’s top 100.
Others in the women’s field: Anna Chakvetadze, a 2007 U.S. Open semifinalist; Vania King, a 2010 Wimbledon and U.S. Open doubles champion; and Virginie Razzano, who stunned Serena Williams in the first round of the recent French Open.
The 2012 Citi Open men’s tournament, an ATP World Tour 500 level event, is classified among the top 20 ATP events in the world based on its prize money (nearly $1.5 million) and prestige. The women’s tournament offers $220,000 in prize money.
Now in its 43rd year, the tournament is owned by its beneficiary, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which provides academic help and tennis instruction to Washington-area youngsters, particularly those from low-income communities.