Capital Tennis action comes back to DC for 1 week onlyWritten and Edited by Tennis-Bargains.com Staff (Nik and JC):
After a placid June, DC summer temperatures are steadily rising again for the 2015 Citi Open in the heart of DC. The US tennis hard court season gets ready to roll next weekend, beginning on Saturday Aug. 1 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Get your tickets at Citi Open with this 25% USTA promo code
The 2015 ATP men’s draw has three former US Open winners: Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Lleyton Hewitt.
Andy has been playing his past tennis since the start of the year, with excellent showings at all the grand slams (Finals of the Australian, Semis at the French, Semis at Wimbledon) plus a stellar clay court season.
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A fresh and rejuvenated Murray is our pick to win this year. Marin Cilic has made a steady comeback from elbow and shoulder problems since his US Open triumph last year. After his Wimbledon QF loss to Djokovic, he believes he is peaking at the right time for the summer hard court season again.
Grigor Dimitrov (aka Baby Fed and Sharapova's bf), after a split with coach Roger Rasheed will be looking to make amends. While coach Rasheed was instrumental in getting Grigor’s fitness levels to tour-worthy levels, Dimitrov probably feels like he needs more match-specific strategy to make that elusive deep run for an ATP 1000 or Grand Slam title. Dimitrov is a treat to watch when he’s playing well; definitely a fan favorite at the Citi Open.
The Big MenIvo Karlovic is in the form of his 36-year-old life. Recently predicted via Twitter that he thinks he can play until 40 with the way he’s serving. Ivo’s also barely short of 400 aces from stealing the all-time ATP aces record off of his buddy Goran Ivanisevic. Ivo’s doppelganger is another super-tall server, John Isner, the top American seed in the draw and John’s always a title contender in any tournament he enters.
American PrideFellow Americans Jack Sock and Steve Johnson will also be at hand - Jack recently made waves when his forehand was measured to produce more RPMs i.e. rotation on his topspin than Rafa Nadal’s, Jack took a set of Nadal on route to a 3R loss French Open but only after topping Grigor Dimitrov in Round 2. He also won the US Clay court championships earlier this year. Lots of potential for Jack, if he's firing on all cylinders.
Next Wave of Young Tennis ProdigiesThere’s also a strong contingent of up and comers in the draw - 19-year-old Thanassi Kokkinakis isn’t the main Australian player making headlines yet (20-year-old Nick Krygios gets that honor) and Bernard Tomic at 22 seems almost like the veteran of the lot.
Also up and coming is the young 18-year-old German 6’ 6” tall Alexander Zverev - he’s been under the gun for being too intense and some tour players including Fernando Verdasco recently questioned his on-court tennis etiquette and behavior but Alex says it all only to fire himself up.
Asian Stars on the riseKei Nishikori will make another appearance as the Top 5 Ranked Men's player in the world. Look for amazing backhands and flawless footwork from this guy. Hopefully, Coach Michael Chang will also be here to support his young pupil.
Hyeon Chung from South Korea is another young Asian prospect (#79 in the world) who’s been posting great results on the Challenger tour. At the Miami Open in March, I watched him take a set off Tomas Berdych. He's a very steady baseline player with some impressive shot selection maturity well beyond his years.
Strongest Women's Field in DC everThe women’s draw this year features the strongest WTA draw we’ve seen in the city (pun). Led by Sam Stosur, Sloane Stephens, Belinda Bencic, and Svetlana Kuznetsova - there is a lot of powerhouse women players coming back to DC this year.
While all 3 of them are in somewhat a slump lately, hard courts are their best surface so they’ll be looking to kick into high gear. Sloane Stephens leads the American charge. While she hasn’t played her best tennis her in the past, she’s a fan favorite here in DC so look for her to have a strong run in the tournament.
Other American Women include Madison Brengle (with her success on the WTT Washington Kastles team), plus Coco Vandeweghe and Christina McHale returning to DC again.
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