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Rafael Nadal to headline Citi Open in Washington

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 July 2021, 8:19 IST

World number three, Rafael Nadal has accepted a wild card into the Citi Open, the tournament announced on Thursday.

The Spaniard will compete in the ATP 500, to take place in Washington, D.C. from August 2-8 at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Centre, for the very first time. "I am very excited to come to Washington for the first time," Nadal said in a tournament press release.

"I have never been there and it is one more place I wanted to come and play. I am looking forward to playing again and Washington shall be the best start for the US Summer Swing for me. Looking forward to seeing again my US fans that I have not seen since I won the 2019 US Open in NYC! Vamos!"

In his Citi Open debut, Nadal will look to claim his 89th ATP title, but will contend with a very deep field of contenders, including Canadians world No. 12 Denis Shapovalov and Next-Gen ATP star world No. 19 Felix Auger-Aliassime, Polish world No. 18 and 2021 Miami Open champion Hubert Hurkacz, and Russian world No. 29 Karen Khachanov, who collectively comprise four of the recent eight Wimbledon quarterfinalists.

Of the four, Shapovalov is the only player with a win over the Spanish great and just bested Khachanov to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon. Hurkacz also advanced to the final four at the All England Club, defeating eight-time champion Federer in straight sets. Meanwhile, Auger-Aliassime, at the age of 20, is the youngest player ranked inside the world's top-20 and is currently being coached by Nadal's famous "Uncle Toni."

"We are thrilled to welcome Rafael Nadal, who is not just one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, but also a global sporting icon and inspiring role model to our Washington community this summer," said Citi Open Chairman and CEO of MDE Tennis Mark Ein. "I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate the joyous return of the things we cherish like live sports, coming together as a community and our historic event than having Rafa and the rest of our very deep and exciting player field competing for the Citi Open title."

This will be Nadal's first tournament since reaching the Roland Garros semi-finals in June. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has a 23-4 record on the season and he will chase his third crown after the season following triumphs in Barcelona and Rome.


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First published: 9 July 2021, 8:19 IST