The competition heated up yesterday as the Citi Open progressed into the semifinals. With the sun relentlessly beating down, players showcased their incredible endurance and tenacity as Stadium Court reached a scorching heat index of 146 degrees. Competitors gave their all for a spot in the finals and a chance to take home the Citi Open trophy.
The semifinals began on Stadium Court yesterday with the men’s doubles. Canada’s Daniel Nestor and France’s Eduoard Roger-Vasselin, the Tournament’s second seeds, soundly defeated their challengers, third seeded Romanian duo Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau, in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. They will face Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Austria’s Alexander Peya in the finals, after that duo edged out Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Australia’s John Peers in three close sets, 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-3.
Heading to the men’s singles finals will be Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic. Karlovic defeated fifth seed American Steve Johnson in back-to-back sets yesterday afternoon, 6-4, 6-4. Facing Karlovic in today’s finals will be second seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils, who comfortably beat German wild card Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 6-0.
In the women’s doubles final, two incredibly talented teams took to the court, but in the end, only one could win. Romanian-Belgian duo Monica Niculescu and Yanina Wickmayer will take home the title after defeating Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Risa Ozaki, 6-4, 6-3. Congratulations to our women’s doubles champions!
The extreme heat this afternoon brought into effect the WTA rule on mandatory breaks between sets. These pauses did not stop Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, however, as she put away Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva in back-to-back sets, 6-4, 6-2. Wickmayer will face-off against American Lauren Davis after a decisive match against American wild card Jessica Pegula, 6-2, 6-3.
Stadium Court wasn’t the only hot-ticket venue on site yesterday. The Tournament was joined by representatives of DC government as Chairman of the DC Council Phil Mendelson, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, and Ana Harvey, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) were all recognized on court between matches. The penultimate evening also featured a sponsor reception recognizing the tremendous support of all the proud partners who make the Citi Open come to life.
Amidst all the heat and excitement, the Citi Open proudly honored our region’s active-duty and retired military members and their families yesterday with Celebrating our Heroes Day. Yesterday’s event was to thank all of those who sacrifice so much with honor, commitment, and bravery day-in and day-out.