Citi Open adds Andy Murray, Simona Halep to field

Andy Murray and Simona Halep, a pair of world No. 1 players who have claimed three Wimbledon championships and five majors between them, are among the final additions to Washington’s Citi Open this summer.

Other new names announced Wednesday for the 48-player men’s field include 10th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz, 16th-ranked Denis Shapovalov of Canada and rising American Sebastian Korda, who’s ranked 46th.

Korda, 22, is part of a strong contingent of committed American men that includes eight of the country’s top nine players, including Wimbledon quarterfinalist Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Hyattsville’s Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Jenson Brooksby, Maxime Cressy and 2021 Citi Open finalist Mackenzie McDonald.

Murray, 35, claimed his first Grand Slam title on hard courts, winning the 2012 U.S. Open. He also won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games, which was contested on the grass at the All England Club, and defended his singles gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry claimed his third consecutive title in 1936. He won his second Wimbledon title in 2016.

Halep, who advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals Wednesday and is the 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion, joins a 32-player women’s field that includes another former No. 1, Victoria Azarenka; 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu and finalist Leylah Fernandez; and Americans Jessica Pegula, 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

Commitments for Washington’s men’s tournament include 2019 Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios, 2015 Citi Open champion Kei Nishikori, eighth-ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia, Australia’s Alex de Minaur and David Goffin of Belgium. On the women’s side, new commitments include Wimbledon semifinalist Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, Elise Mertens of Belgium and Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

From 2019: Nick Kyrgios, having ‘one of the best weeks of my life,’ scores the Citi Open title

The Citi Open will be staged at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center July 30-Aug. 7.

It is the first major hard-court event leading to the U.S. Open, which gets underway Aug. 29, making it a popular drawing card as players transition from the grass-court season.

The Citi Open’s men’s event, classified as an ATP 500, is one rung higher than the women’s event (a WTA 250) in terms of the size of its field and the ranking points and prize money at stake. But over the decade in which Citi hosted a companion women’s event, before its sanction-holder moved the event elsewhere, it drew strong fan support and attracted a prominent field.

The Citi Open is one of five combined men’s and women’s tennis tournaments in the country. This summer’s edition also will include a 16-team doubles event for both men and women.

The men’s tournament has been a staple of Washington’s summer sports calendar since 1969. A companion women’s tournament was first held in 2011, and it returns this summer after a three-year absence. Pegula won the title when the Citi Open last hosted a women’s tour-level event in 2019.

D.C.-based venture capitalist Mark Ein acquired management rights of the tournament in April 2019, helping to solidify the event’s place on the Association of Tennis Professionals calendar. For more than five decades, the tournament has supported the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which provides free tennis and educational programs for children in underserved communities and is the event’s beneficiary.

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