Experiencing the highest attendance record in the tournament’s 51-year history, Citi Open attracted 78,643 people to Rock Creek Tennis Center in DC.
“I became a DC-lover. When we come to play here, we see how much people enjoy watching us, how much people love tennis, and how they love this city. It’s been a great honor and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.” – Bruno Soares, Washington Kastles
Game. Set. Match. #TennisReimagined. What do these words have in common? They fully describe this summer in the nation’s capital where tennis became a center point to all the fun. We can agree that there’s nothing better in this world than great sports and great food, and DC tennis enthusiasts were able to experience both this summer. Thanks to Mark Ein, Washington, DC-based venture capitalist, entrepreneur and civic leader, DC has become the premier tennis destination, beginning with the new location of the Washington Kastles Stadium to the transformation of the fan experience at Citi Open.
Finishing their 2019 season strong, Washington Kastles fans enjoyed a newly-constructed, 700-seat rooftop tennis stadium at Union Market. The crowd went wild for the sunsets over the city skyline, the food options curated by sports venue service provider Levy, and for the special matches featuring Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and Citi Open Champion, Nick Kyrgios.
“It’s really special playing on top of this roof…playing here in front of the crowd, having a lively atmosphere. It’s been really fun,” said Kastles player Kaitlyn Christian.
A few days later, the Citi Open began at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, and exciting matches weren’t all that people were talking about. For the first-time ever, the Citi Open featured a brand-new Market Square with some of the best local food vendors and chefs serving up meals fit for Instagram foodies and bloggers alike. Chef Jose Andres and his ThinkFoodGroup team brought Pepe food truck, Beefsteak and Butterfly Taco y Tortas to Market Square. Also in tow were Washingtonian favorites like Shake Shack, Founding Spirits, Compass Coffee and Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee, among others.
Serving as a perfect complement to the reimagined food and venue options, the competitive play had fans at the edge of their seats. Winning the Citi Open women’s double title, the first WTA championship for both players, Coco Gauff and Caty McNally made headlines. In singles, Jessica Pegula earned her first career WTA title and Nick Kyrgios walked away a champion as he earned his second title of 2019 and sixth career trophy. Following his victory, he stated, “This is the tournament I will definitely play the rest of my life.”