As the Tournament progressed into its third day of the main draw, competition intensified as players from around the world fought to advance to the next round. Fans came to the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center to see their favorites leave it all on the court, and the level of play did not disappoint.
In the women’s singles bracket, wild card Jessica Pegula from the United States continued her string of victories against American Christina McHale, 7-5, 6-2. Fellow American wild card Samantha Crawford did not fare as well, losing in three sets against fourth seed Kristina Mladenovic from France, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer defeated China’s Shuai Zhang, 6-3, 7-5. In three close sets, Lauren Davis beat fellow American Shelby Rogers, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3. Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva defeated American wild card Usue Maitane Arconada in three hard-fought sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Australia's Samantha Stosur won by retirement against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, 5-7,4-3.
In the women’s doubles quarterfinals, third-seeded duo Nicole Melichar from the United States and Shilin Xu from China defeated opponents Hiroko Kuwata from Japan and Lin Zhu from China, 6-2, 5-7, 10-2. The Tournament’s first seeded team, Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and China’s Zhaoxuan Yang, beat Americans Madison Brengle and Samantha Crawford to clinch their spot in the semifinals, 6-3, 2-6, 10-2. Also moving on to the women’s doubles semifinal will be Japanese team Shuko Aoyama and Risa Ozaki who knocked out second seeds Naomi Broady and Miyu Kato, 6-2, 6-3.
Men’s singles play began with American Steve Johnson, the Tournament’s fifth seed, defeating Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, 6-3, 6-4. The Tournament’s second seed, France’s Gael Monfils, defeated his opponent, Chinese Taipei National Yen-Hsun Lu, in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. German Alexander Zverev defeated 18-year-old American Taylor Fritz in two sets as well, 6-4, 6-2. Third seed Australian Bernard Tomic beat American Donald Young, 7-6, 6-3. The Tournament’s first seed and last year’s finalist, American John Isner won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, over Australian James Duckworth who had battled from qualifiers.
Other winners included Ryan Harrison, Ivo Karlovic, Malek Jaziri, Gilles Muller, Jack Sock, Marcos Baghdatis, and Borna Coric.
Men’s doubles play heated up as third seed Romanian duo Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau beat wild card Americans Denis Kudla and Frances Tiafoe in two sets, 6-3, 6-3. Also moving on to the next round will be Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Australia’s John Peers, who won by retirement against Treat Huey from the Philippines and Max Mirnyi from Belarus, 6-1, 3-4. Second seeds Daniel Nestory and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, from Canada and France respectively, proved victorious against American wild card team Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka in three close sets, 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-8. Play ended with the matchup between the number one men’s doubles seed, Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, and Americans Steve Johnson and Jack Sock. In an upset, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock were victorious and will advance to the next round after winning in three sets, 5-7, 6-4, 10-7.
Other winners included Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin, and Chris Guccione and Sam Querrey.
Our tennis stars weren't the only athletes on center court. Hometown soccer team DC United was recognized on court as defenders Steven Birnbaum, Sean Franklin, Jalen Robinson, and midfielder Julian Buescher cheered on their favorite players. In the tunnel to Stadium Court, the group met with Nicole Melichar and Shilin Xu following their doubles victory, taking a moment to discuss sports and the European football championships before the soccer squad took to the practice courts themselves. Joining a youth clinic with Melwood Recreation Center, the lads answered fan questions, signed autographs, and grabbed racquets to volley a few rounds with their fans.
Citi Open had two special guest announcers at Stadium Court. WJLA’s anchor Larry Smith and Tommy McFly, host of the Tommy Show on 94.7 Fresh FM, were thrilled to announce from the Charlie Brotman Press Box while being able to watch some world-class tennis from the best seats in the house.
Play didn’t just heat up for the players yesterday, as Blue Chip Tennis Academy hosted the Ladies Clinic. Participants had the opportunity to learn from Blue Chip Professionals and everyone had a great time improving their tennis skills. Afterwards, they were treated to a complimentary glass of champagne in the Garden Club, the premium hospitality area on-site.
For up-to-the-minute highlights and scores, check out the Tournament’s website at www.citiopentennis.com.
Play continues today at 2 p.m., with the box office opening at noon and gates opening at 1 p.m. The competition is heating up as we enter into our sixth day of the Citi Open; you won’t want to miss this. We hope to see you on the grounds!