It’s the most wonderful time of the year, aka when Citi Open descends upon DC! Granted, I’m a bit biased – tennis is (next to soccer) my all-time favorite sport, and I think everyone should view it in the same obsessive light. Even if you’re not a big tennis fan, though, there are MANY reasons to be amped on some of the top players who are competing in the tournament, and I’m going to tell you all about ten of them RIGHT NOW!
2018 Australian Open champ, World No. 2
Caroline is by far one of my favorite players. The 28-year-old Dane is a class act, and while she was ousted surprisingly early at Wimbledon (a second-round loss to Makarova), I have high hopes for her game both at Citi Open, and at the upcoming US Open!
“I don’t understand the words you are saying to me, Megan. How can I relate to this person?!” Well, according to this US Weekly What’s In My Bag piece, she’s just like us!
Her favorite candies are Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish – both v. strong choices of the gummy variety. She also loves her some crime novels (maybe she can stick around for our True Crime Fest?!), and she can be counted on to have both Tylenol AND Advil in her bag for all her sports needs and all our (probably) hungover needs! MVP!
The 21-year-old has had a meteoric rise – defending Citi Open champ, World No. 3
Look, I don’t mean to objectify anybody here, especially not someone nearly a decade younger than I am, but I mean…can we just say WHAT. A. BABE?! The German wunderkind (a staggering 6’6″ in stature) is well on his way to becoming the best tennis player in the men’s game. If that’s not reason enough to pay attention, then I don’t know what is.
Oh wait, yes I do – HE GOT TENNIS CREDENTIALS FOR HIS DOG ONE TIME:
2015 Citi Open champ (her first career title), 2017 U.S. Open champ, 2018 French Open finalist, World No. 3, top American
Sloane Stephens is a goddamn NATIONAL TREASURE! She was another player who was ousted surprisingly early from Wimbledon, but her game is so incredibly strong that I CANNOT EVEN. Expect a fierce performance from this one, and while we’re rolling with the dog appreciation, I’ll just leave this here:
3x Grand Slam champion, 2x Olympic gold medalist
It was a total bummer not to see Andy Murray at Wimbledon this year, but I respect the 31-year-old’s ability to recognize that he just wasn’t ready to come back yet following a hip injury. Hopefully all cylinders are firing for Citi Open, bur regardless, he’s one of the true greats that deserves your undivided attention.
The Scotsman is also an advocate for Scottish independence, and HELL YEAH TO THAT!
3x Grand Slam champion
Switzerland’s Wawrinka is another legend that should be a household name by now, but if you’re unfamiliar, just know that seeing him play up close and personal should be at the top of your bucket list, especially since the 33-year-old recently stated he predicts just two to five more years are left in him career-wise.
World No. 8, 3x Citi Open finalist, 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist (it was a six hour match against Kevin Anderson!)
Holy banans, you guys – if you didn’t catch the insane match between Isner and Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon Semi-Final, you truly missed out on some history-making greatness. SIX FLIPPIN’ HOURS, Y’ALL! I can’t do anything for six hours, let alone play the best tennis of all time. I can’t say for sure if the 33-year-old American will do a repeat at Citi Open, but goddamn, wouldn’t that be tight if you were in the audience to witness it?!
Also, more dogs, aka more bonus points:
World No. 5, 2017 Citi Open finalist, 2017 U.S. Open finalist, 2018 Wimbledon finalist
And so we come next to 32-year-old South African Kevin Anderson, the other half of that six hour Wimbledon match! Homeboy went on to compete in the Final, and while he came up short against Djokovic, he had a STELLAR run. Let’s hope he replicates it at Citi Open!
And the more I am writing this, the more I am realizing that tennis players fucking love dogs! (Do you think it’s related to the fact that dogs love tennis balls?) Anderson’s dog has her own IG for god’s sake! (Obviously follow her…)
The 20-year-old beat a World No. 1 to get to her first career title in Indian Wells earlier this year
Naomi and her sister, Mari, have been pegged as the Williams Sisters V. 2.0 by some, but the high praise no doubt comes from Naomi being one of the most talented 20-year-old humans you’ll ever see. If you don’t love the Haitian-Japanese player for her mad skills, you’re probably gonna love her for one of her latest press conference quotes, which references SpongeBob:
“Towards the end I didn’t know that I won the match point,” she said. “So then I was like Caveman SpongeBob.”
Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!
Grew up in the DC area, and is quickly moving up the rankings
This 20-year-old is from none other than College Park! He’s the third-youngest player ranked in the ATP’s Top 50, which is nothing to sneeze at, and you should expect some p. great stuff from him at Citi Open. (And guess what? He’s proof that mom doesn’t always know best – his mom was initially skeptical of his tennis career, but LOOK WHO WAS PROVEN SO WRONG! But also we love you anyway, Frances’ mom!)
2015 Citi Open champion
The 28-year-old Japanese player was another one who bit the dust playing against Djokovic in the Wimbledon Quarter-Final, but his efforts were impressive as hell getting to that point in the tough as nails competition. Winner of the 2015 Citi Open, he’s definitely one to watch this year!
Additionally, he once credited American food as being a great bulk up strategy, and it’s the best backhanded compliment I think our cuisine will ever receive – “I think it was good that I went to the U.S., because after a couple of years, I got much bigger in height and more weight. The taste wasn’t the best, but it was good for me, good for the body. Japanese food is healthy but it doesn’t get you much bigger.” Sooooo maybe we’ll be seeing him with a jumbo slice in hand?!
Who are you rooting for out of this lot and/or beyond? TELL US! Also, see you out there!