For 51 years in a row, world-renowned tennis players have made their way to the District for a competitive tournament hosted at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Now, with DC-based venture capitalist Mark Ein at the helm, the DC Citi Open tournament will not only remain in DC, but will also include a series of new features for all fans to enjoy when it kicks off on Saturday, July 27.
Ein, an investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, also owns the Washington Kastles, one of the six franchises currently competing in World Team Tennis and has been an avid fan of the sport ever since he was a kid, a time when he was a ball boy for the DC Citi Open.
Due to prior financial instability of the tournament, there was a possibility it could be moved out of the District, which is why Ein felt driven to keep the tournament in the place it first began, according to Mara Vandlik, a member of the public relations team for Citi Open.
From a new partnership with famed-chef José Andrés of ThinkFoodGroup to a Moët & Chandon tent for fans to cool off in, Ein is revitalizing the hospitality aspect of the tournament. Other changes include a deeper focus on the matching of doubles partners, local vendors serving bites in food trucks (think Compass Coffee and Ice Cream Jubilee) and even an outdoor beer garden for attendees to hang out at before each match.
As always, a portion of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), an organization seeking to improve the life prospects for lower-income, DC area residents through tennis and other community-based activities.
Notable athletes to look out for include men’s world eighth-ranked player Kevin Anderson, women’s seventh-ranked Sloane Stephens and even Cori “Coco” Gauff, the 15-year-old American powerhouse who recently beat Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon a few weeks ago.
In addition to great competition, there are activities for the youngsters to enjoy, too. On Sunday, July 28, there will be a Citi Open Kids’ Day, giving kids the opportunity to hit on the court with coaches from WTEF, as well as participate in face painting, balloon animal giveaways and more.
For prices and a detailed schedule of when to see your favorite athletes leave it all on the court from July 27 through Aug. 4, visit the Citi Open website.
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