25 July 2018

The Citi Open Tennis Tournament will commemorate 50 years of professional tennis in the Nation’s Capital with an unforgettable bash featuring some of the sport’s brightest stars.

The festivities will take place at the Tournament Site on Friday, July 27, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Notable guests include former World No. 1, eight-time Grand Slam champion and three-time tournament champion Jimmy Connors; World Champions 1968-69 U.S. Davis Cup Team members Bob Lutz, Charlie Pasarell, Dennis Ralston and Stan Smith; and former World No. 3 and 1980 singles and 1976 doubles tournament champion Brian Gottfried. Current players committed to play in this year’s event will also make appearances throughout the evening.

“What better way to kick off our 50th edition than to welcome back the greats that competed in years past,” said Donald Dell, tournament chairman and co-founder. “I’m excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with those who helped to build this tournament, those who helped to sustain this tournament, and now, those who are helping to ensure its longevity in the city.”

Guests will be treated to hors d’oeuvres, savory stations and cocktails provided by Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (TCMA), The Daily Dish, The Dish & Dram, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Little Coco’s, Baked by Yael, Founding Farmers & Distillers, Founding Spirits and Banfi Wines. A firework display will conclude the evening at 9:50 p.m. Tickets are $69.50 and available HERE >>

The tournament was founded by former U.S. Davis Cup captain Donald Dell and John Harris in 1969. It was one of the first open professional tennis tournaments in the country. Dell asked the legendary Arthur Ashe if he would be willing to play in a tournament in Washington, D.C. Ashe replied that he would, if only the tournament was to be played in a public park in a naturally desegregated neighborhood, where everyone, regardless of race, has the opportunity to watch. Since then, the tournament has been in beautiful Rock Creek Park in the heart of the city.

A few years after its founding, Dell and Harris donated the tournament charter to a local non-profit to benefit local youth. Ever since, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation has owned the tournament. The D.C.-based organization provides underserved area youth with a safe environment to learn tennis skills and life skills.

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