Professional Tennis Returns In Washington, DC

18 June 2020

Three months after the pro tours suspended their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ATP and tournament officials announced today that the professional tennis tour will return to the world stage with the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. from August 13-21.  Conversations with the WTA Tour about returning in DC the same week this summer are on-going.

"After what will be a five-month shutdown, we are thrilled that pro tennis will resume in Washington, DC at the 2020 Citi Open," said tournament chairman and CEO of MDE Tennis Mark Ein.  "Our team has completed an exhaustive effort to explore, design, and refine the health and safety protocols necessary to host the event.  After this extensive collaboration with a full range of our stakeholders, it is an extraordinary and unexpected honor to host the comeback of our great sport right here in our backyard."

The Citi Open will be the ATP Tour's first sanctioned event since February and will mark the end to the longest hiatus in the Open Era. Founded in 1969, the Citi Open is the fourth longest running pro tournament in the United States. This summer marks the 52nd consecutive year the Citi Open will be played in its original home of Rock Creek Park.

The tournament is working closely with local officials on the health and safety plan in order to secure all the necessary permits and approvals for the event.  The current plan is for the Citi Open to host this year's tournament without fans in attendance, but officials remain optimistic that as the region continues its phased reopening, and conditions improve, they may be granted permission to allow limited fans onsite.  

"This has been a very tough year for so many people in our community and our nation, and we hope the return of a great Washington summer tradition will give people something to look forward to," said Ein.  "Building on the event's long charitable history, we are planning to use the tournament to help some of those people most impacted and shine a light on some of our many local heroes."

Despite the limits on in-person attendance, Tennis Channel will again be the exclusive television home of the Citi Open with wall-to-wall coverage from first ball to last ball. Throughout the years, Washington's summer tennis tradition has produced such champions as Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin del Potro, and Alexander Zverev.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios captured the 2019 Citi Open which featured eight current or former Top-10 players in the ATP field. Another strong field is expected this summer as players prepare for a condensed summer hardcourt season.

This year's Citi Open will be followed by the Cincinnati ATP Masters 1000 from August 23 - 29 and the US Open from August 31 - September 13. Both events will be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.

An abbreviated European clay-court swing is scheduled from September 14 – October 11 with postponed Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, followed by the French Open.

About Citi Open Tournament:
The Citi Open® tournament has been Washington, D.C.'s premier tennis event since 1969 and benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), the tournament's non-profit owner and beneficiary. Beginning in 2019, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Mark Ein will manage and operate the tournament under an agreement with WTEF. The organization provides underserved children in the D.C.-area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment. The Citi Open Tennis Tournament is one of only 13 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The tournament also features a WTA International Tournament, which provides fans the opportunity to watch simultaneous competitions of both world-class men's and women's tennis throughout the nine-day event. It is one of only five U.S. tournaments that include both men's and women's fields. Washington is one of the five largest tennis events in the United States and one of only five tour events featuring players from both the ATP and WTA Tours competing simultaneously. After 50 years, it is also the longest running pro tennis event at the same site in the United States.

About Citi:
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com/| Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi| Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi| LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.

About MDE Tennis:
MDE Tennis, which is part of MDE Sports & Entertainment, oversees operations for Citi Open and the Washington Kastles. Mark D. Ein is the CEO of MDE Sports & Entertainment and MDE Tennis. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 30-year career. During this time, Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of six companies that have been worth over one billion dollars and has led over $1.8 billion of private equity, venture capital, and public company investments. Ein is the Founder and CEO of Capitol Investment Corporation, Venturehouse Group, LLC and Leland Investment Co.

Ein actively supports many community, charitable and cultural organizations and currently serves on the boards of the DC Public Education Fund (Chairman), the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, International Tennis Hall of Fame, DC College Access Program (DC-CAP), and DC Policy Center (Co-Founder). He formerly served on the Board of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) from 2012-2018 (serving as a Vice President of the Board from 2016-2018). Ein has been a member of the World Economic Forum since 2016, and the Gridiron Club, the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C.

A native of the Washington, D.C., area and a ball boy in his youth at the city's summer pro tennis tournament that became the Citi Open, Ein is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, the most successful team in World TeamTennis history. The Kastles have won the league championship six of its 12 years since its founding and holds the record for the longest winning streak in U.S. pro team sports history winning 34 straight matches from 2011 through 2013. In September 2009, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting his Washington Kastles success on the court and, "for their commitment to the District's communities and our youth."

In September 2018, Ein founded the Washington Justice esports franchise in the Overwatch League, bringing the premier global esports league to the greater Washington, D.C. region. Also, in 2018, Ein acquired the Washington City Paper, the renowned weekly paper serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1981. In 2019, Ein took over management and operation of Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

About WTEF:
The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) is a premier educational and tennis organization for underserved children in Washington, D.C. The mission of WTEF is to improve the life prospects of low-income, underserved children and youth in the District of Columbia through athletic and academic enrichment. We seek to keep children off city streets during out-of-school time in a safe environment they can trust. We also engage them in productive activities that teach discipline, build confidence, improve school performance, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. We empower our students to achieve their highest potential by helping them develop meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to make constructive life choices. WTEF builds life champions. For more information, visit www.wtef.org.

 

Source: prnewswire.com