50 years of Citi Open Tennis / Best memories

Open Era of Tennis in Washington DC (1968 - 2018)

This year marks a very special milestone for Open Era Tennis.

I've known the author of this article, Nik, as one of the biggest tennis fans and a "legend of DC/VA Tennis". He was the one that introduced me to the Legg Mason Classic over a decade ago and shared amazing tips (best viewing seats and where to park) plus some of the most unexpected stories of the game and its players.

Citi Open - JC Tennis / Tennis Bargains Media Team

Written by Nik Subramanian

The 2018 Citi Open Tennis tournament in Washington DC starts on July 28. This will be the 50th edition, and the Players Lounge kicks off the event with food, drinks, and music on Fri July 27 at 7.30pm
The latest finish JC and I witnessed was a 2:45AM finish with Dmitry Tursunov in ‘06
after which he gladly obliged fans (including us) with a chit chat and pictures. 

2018 Citi Open - Preview Highlights

Top ATP players at this year’s event include former number one Andy Murray, 3-time slam winner Stan Wawrinka, US Open, Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson and Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner. Top WTA players including world number two Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephenson (ranked # 3) will headline the women's draw.

Look out for next-generation stars like Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Hyeon Chung, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Naomi Osaka and local lad Frances Tiafoe.

Shapovalov, Chung, Tsitsipas, and Rublev have a “future top 10” ranking written all over them. While one should expect Kyrgios might disappoint, depending on which way the wind is blowing when he’s scheduled to play, he has an entertaining and explosive game, and if he’s drawn to face someone that he perceives as a challenge, it will be an entertaining match.

Looking Back 15 Years at Rock Creek Tennis in DC

Brad Gilbert coached Andy Murray in 2006 at Legg Mason, photo by JC
Featured on Brad Gilbert's Wikipedia Page
I’ve attended the Citi Open every year since 2004, for the last 15 years. The first year was devoid of “stars” due to the conflicting Athens Olympics but was memorable nevertheless, as watching any tennis pro in the top 500 is a great learning experience. Still that year, we had Mark Philippoussis, Jonas Bjorkman, Alex Corretja and a bunch of players only seen on television up until that point.

One of the highlights of the 2005 tournament for me was seeing an idol, Andre Agassi, up-close. The intensity of Andre’s practice session combined with the pace and accuracy of his groundstrokes was awe-inspiring.

Watching Agassi practice with Andy Murray in 2006 was another great highlight. Murray’s ability to absorb and redirect all the pace from Andre’s groundstrokes was a precursor of Murray’s success to come.

 Nik and Safin in 2006, profile pic on Wikipedia
Nik and Safin, 2006 Edition, Photo by JC
Cropped photo now lives on the official Marat Safin Wikipedia page

3 Important tips for Watching the US Open Live!


Want to see the top tennis players in the world? This is the 50th US Open!
Federer and Nadal will be in NYC at the biggest Tennis Stadium in the World!

If you're a real tennis fan in the USA, you gotta go see the US Open at least ONCE in your lifetime!  NYC Summer fun!

It's your chance to catch a glimpse of the Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal!
Below, I show you how to get the best US Open experience and tickets...

Subscribe to get all my tips sent to your email (in bite-size nuggets of wisdom). So you can read it over later and take with you to the US Open! Free US Open Ticket Discounts and Tips.


My US Open experience
I have personally attended over a decade's worth of Grand Slam tennis (all four). Been to NYC dozens of times in my life, with family and friends to see the best matches.

The sport has given me an insider's view at all the Tennis Majors as a tennis fan, player, coach, and now as a sports media photographer and journalist.

Now it's your turn to go without breaking the bank! Get 2-for-1 tickets from Ticket Bargains.



Helping Tennis Fans see their favorite stars
I want to share my experiences and tips with others to get the best experience possible for new fans. Because I get asked in person all the time, it was just easier to write it down.

As a USPTA Professional - I'm committed to making the US Open Experience fun, affordable for ALL Americans. While coporate greed is causing ticket prices to skyrocket, I want to make sure the true fans have a better chance at watching these "Sold Out" matches in real life.

Tickets are still being bought and sold by fans, look here in July-August.
Even these so-called "sold out" sessions will still have ones available!  The Labor Day Holiday Weekend Tickets get sold more quickly. Prices and new tickets are updated daily, so it helps to bookmark and check back!

Our Facebook Updates keep you in the loop about upcoming schedule and player changes.

US Open Shade Map 2018 - how to avoid the heat at the US Open


July Heat Wave
Most of the USA just went through a heat wave! Many cities this summer had heat indexes over 90 or even 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix that with bad ozone conditions (code orange or red) and it's a bad idea to be outdoors for long.

Health Risks of staying in the Sun too long
I often hear the reason most fans avoid attending the US Open is that this heat for a whole day can be very draining. It can even be a danger to your health if you have any elderly fans with heart or lung problems. I highly recommend that fans drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun.

Shade at the US Open
I have created a US Open Shade Map to help anyone find a cooler place to watch your tennis match. This one illustrates how the sun will move the shade line inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

US Open Shade Map
(Ashe Stadium with roof)
How to Find Shade at a Tennis Event
An easy rule of thumb to find shade (or at least a slightly cooler area) is look for the side with the umpire chair.

The Umpire chair is located on the West Side of any US Open tennis court or stadium. As you can see in the illustration, the shade line will slide slowly toward the East over time.

Buyer's tip: Look to buy Ashe tickets in Sections 340 to 324. They will generally be the most shaded areas to purchase tickets inside while the roof is open. Also if you need some relief away from the sun, it may be wise to move further up to the top under the edges of the roof.

Review: Tennis Hall of Fame Open 250 (Newport, RI)


Dell Open 250 Tournament and Tennis Hall of Fame Open Induction for Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters 


This was my first ATP 250 event and the first time I had ever set foot in Rhode Island. The Grass Court location that hosts the Hall of Fame induction felt and looked just as very classy and New England traditional as I had seen many times before on TV.

It is here that many have witnessed the highly decorated heroes of tennis become enshrined forever.

Andre Agassi had so much charm and admiration for his wife on his big day in memorable acceptance. He had an even more emotional and beautiful speech in tribute to his wife Steffi Graf.

Get Tickets to 2018 Tennis Hall of Fame Open (July 15-22, 2018)


The induction ceremony is held right on top of the center court. This year it would be Roddick and Clijsters who would join their ranks.

The history of the location and my desire to be at a Grass tournament made this trip another one with only a short notice that my credentials were ready, but I was excited to go.

I have worked many years with Dell and EMC Technologies in the IT business so it was extra special to go to this event and see it first hand.



Taylor Fritz
Denis Kudla
Adrian Mannarino

Dell Open 250 Tournament - Wimbledon of the USA


This is the closest thing to Wimbledon in the USA if you can't make it to London this July!


Many Americans can appreciate real grass court tennis without a passport and an expensive trans-Atlantic flight.


The unpredictable nature of the fast grass courts makes for an entertaining match where the serve and volley game still has an advantage.

Points are shorter and winners are more common when compared to the hard courts.



You will see top 100 players and grass tennis players come to this event, post-Wimbledon.




USPTA Day and Kids Day


They even feature a USPTA clinic every 30 minutes for fans of all ages to try out hitting with a wooden racket on the center court.

Kids from all over New England traveled there on school field trips to participate in the Net Generation clinics held on the hard courts as well.

It is a very family friendly event and location. The courts are very close together and easy to stroll from one end to the other in just a few minutes.

Some photos around the grounds at the Dell Technology Open.



Press Media Staff and Facilities

Brentan and Anne Marie were both top notch in terms of support and accommodations during the whole event and tournament. I had a chance to meet some of the all-time greats of Photography and Journalism while chatting with the Media.

There was one brave young boy (and aspiring journalist at school) who came to the event with his Mom from Connecticut (pictured on the right side of the media room) even got to ask the final question of the interview.

The caliber of celebrities (including John Legend and Chrissy Teigen) and powerhouse players in attendance to witness the ceremony was staggering.

The museum went through a recent modernization effort to digitize so much of the memorabilia, which not an easy feat, when given how long the sport has spanned.


Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters Induction

Being a part of the Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters induction ceremony was a very special moment in tennis history.

The museum manager allowed me to get a few early access photos inside just before the crowds came through after the Fashion Show.


Kim even had on a special outfit designed specifically for her. Many of the tennis players including Isner participated in the fashion show as well.


It was a fun and enjoyable time to take some photos at their annual Fashion Show as well. Designer pieces and models from Fila and Brookes Brothers showed off their threads in a catwalk along the grass.

I managed to get a few pictures of young Jaden (Kim's daughter) posing next to her own iconic image at the US Open was magical.


Newport, Rhode Island - Sights and Landmarks


Newport is a very quaint and wealthy little town near the water. It has a couple of toll bridges to drive over before coming into the old town.

Other areas of interest include doing the Cliff Walk and seeing some of the wealthiest family homes from the Gilded Age of America.

In the Old Town District, there are plenty of small shops and stores to try many

I would also recommend the American Illustration Museum as a nice break from the sun and a hidden gem in town.

Get Tickets to 2018 Tennis Hall of Fame Open (July 15-22, 2018



Visiting the town of Newport, RI - I loved the Cliffwalk at Sunrise and Sunset. Just spectacular to be near the water in that area with all the beautiful boats on the water.

A short day trip out to Cape Cod also allows for some site-seeing just outside of town as well.


I would highly recommend visiting the Tennis Hall of Fame if you are in the Rhode Island or Cape Cod area. Although it was quite warm in July, it was the perfect beach weather for New England.