Big names head to Washington for the Citi Open.
After a quiet fortnight there are two major tournaments in the US this week. The Bank of the West Classic at Stanford is the longest-running women’s only event while both the ATP and WTA Tours head to Washington DC for the Citi Open. Keep reading for our preview of all this week’s tennis action.
Bank of the West Classic
Launched in San Francisco in 1971 and moving to Oakland in 1979, the longest-running women’s-only event settled in its current home of Stanford University in 1997. Previous champions read like a Who’s Who? of women’s tennis and title winners include Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Kim Clijsters, Monica Seles, Serena Williams, Billie-Jean King and Margaret Court.
Four of the world’s top ten will be in attendance this year including 2011 and 2012 champion Serena Williams. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also features as does Agnieska Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Ana Ivanovic.
The reigning champion is Dominica Cibulkova who returns to defend her title while there are two interesting wildcard entries: Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka.
Citi Open – Mens
One of the top 20 events on the ATP World Tour takes place this week as a strong field head to the William HG Fitzgerald Tennis Centre in Washington DC for the Citi Open. One of just eleven ATP World Tour 500 tournaments in the calendar, there’s over $1.2 million in prize money on offer.
World top ten players Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic are the men to beat on the hard courts while we expect Wimbledon semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov to also go well. Kei Nishikori has been in good form in 2014 and is one to watch, and if you’re looking for an outsider then Bernard Tomic won the recent Claro Open Colombia and so could go well.
Last year’s beaten finalist John Isner also features, as does Richard Gasquet, Gael Monfils, Kevin Anderson and Lleyton Hewitt who won his 30th tour level title in Newport a fortnight ago.
Citi Open – Womens
The origins of the Citi Open date back to an ATP event that launched in 1969 as one of the first open professional tennis tournaments held in the United States. It has since featured some of the sport’s most innovative changes, including blue courts and instant replay/video boards in the stadium.
Eugenie Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam singles final when she reached that stage at Wimbledon and is the woman to beat in Washington DC this week. Sloane Stephens is the leading home favourite alongside Alison Riske and Madison Keys while Alize Cornet and Lucie Safarova also feature.
Magdalena Rybarikova from Slovakia has won this event in each of the last two years and the world number 34 is aiming to make it a hat-trick of titles this week.
Bet-at-home Cup Kitzbuhel
Robin Haase’s 12 match unbeaten run at this tournament was ended at the semi-final stage in 2013 after the Dutchman had won the title in both 2011 and 2012. Haase returns to the clay courts of Kitzbuhel this week with an excellent recent record in this competition, as does the man who finally ended his run last year.
Marcel Granollers admitted he was ‘half on my way to the airport’ as he lost the first set of last year’s final 6-0 to Juan Monaco before recovering to win the title in three sets. Granollers returns to defend his title alongside Nicolas Almagro, 2012 finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber and Andreas Seppi.
You can have a bet on all this week’s tennis with BetBright at https://www.betbright.com/tennis where we’ll have pre-tournment and in-play markets on each of these tournaments and more!