Tiafoe, 16, won the Citi Open® Wild Card Challenge in June and earned his spot with a wild card entry in the qualifying rounds. Tournament officials, however, decided that main draw play would be more fitting for the hometown player.
“We’re excited to watch Francis in his first main draw match,” said Jeff Newman, tournament director. “This is his hometown and this is where he trains, so we expect a great crowd to come out and support him.”
Tiafoe trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, one of the leading training programs in the country. In 2013, he became the youngest winner of the Orange Bowl Championship, and earlier this year, played at both French Open Juniors and Wimbledon Juniors.
“I’m so excited to play in my first main draw ATP event and I can’t imagine a better place to play than in front of my hometown crowd,” Tiafoe said. “I’m so thankful to the Citi Open® for giving me this great opportunity.”
Three other juniors will receive a wild card entry into the qualifying rounds, beginning Saturday, July 26. Stefan Kozlov, 16, the current No. 2 ranked junior in the world, reached the finals of both Australian Open Juniors and Wimbledon Juniors this year. University of Virginia junior Ryan Shane, 20, helped the Cavaliers win the NCAA championship in 2013, and was recently named “Player to Watch” by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. JTCC’s Jordi Arconada, 17, the runner-up in the Wild Card Challenge, will take Tiafoe’s place in the qualifying rounds.
The Citi Open is one of only 11 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The event is also part of the prestigious Emirates Airline US Open Series, the five-week summer tennis season that links nine North American hard-court tournaments to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open. In addition, the Citi Open features a WTA International Tournament which provides fans the opportunity to watch simultaneous competitions of both world class men’s and women’s tennis throughout the nine-day event.
The tournament’s owner and beneficiary, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), provides underserved children in the D.C. area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment.
Ticket pricing plus a full listing of the player fields are available at www.citiopentennis.com, or by phone at 202-721-9500. Daily and single session tickets are available through Ticketmaster. The tournament box office for walk-up sales opens starting Saturday, July 26, at 8 a.m. at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center.
For media requests, please contact Jennifer Haber at (917) 957-1157 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org