Venus returns, Raducanu faces tough test as Citi Open draw reveals

The Hologic WTA Tour returns to Washington DC for the first time since 2019 with a star-studded field and a flurry of tantalizing first-round matchups at the Citi Open, a WTA 250 event. Top seeds include defending champion Jessica Pegula, reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu and two-time major champion Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenkova round out the top four seeds.

Venus Williams, set to play her first singles match in almost a year, will make her tournament debut against a qualifier. The winner will face either eighth seed Clara Tauson or 2013 finalist Andrea Petkovic.

Washington DC: Full drawing | Order of play

Washington Highlights 2019: Pegula wins first WTA title at Citi Open

Currently the highest-ranked American at a career-high seventh, she will face local wild card Hailey Baptiste in the opening round. The winner will face either Daria Saville or a qualifier.

In her tournament debut, Raducanu is seeded as No. 2. The world number 10 was given the toughest task among the top seeds when she was drawn against Wimbledon quarter-finalist Maria Bouzková in the first round. The talented Czech continues to build on her summer success and is in the semifinals at this year’s Prague Open.

The winner between Raducanu and Bouzkova will face either 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin or Colombian rising star Camila Osorio in the second round. Kenin is set to play her first tournament since Indian Wells after being sidelined by injury this spring.

Raducanu’s district also includes No. 5 seed Elise Mertens and 2015 champion Sloane Stephens. The American also faces a tough opening draw against Ajla Tomljanovic, who is coming off her first major quarterfinal at Wimbledon.

Third seed Halep was drawn into the top half of Pegula’s draw. The former No. 1 is fresh off her run to the Wimbledon semifinals and will open against a qualifier. Halep heads to Washington after reaching the semifinals in her last three tournaments. In her last foray on American hard courts, she advanced to the semifinals of Indian Wells in March.

Azarenka is playing her first tournament since Roland Garros and has been placed in the bottom half of the draw. It will start against Dayana Yastremská. Also lurking in Azarenka’s quarter is surprise Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria. The German starts against a qualifier, with the winner facing either Mayar Sherif or Donna Vekic.

The main draw begins on Monday, August 1 at Rock Creek Park.

Everything you need to know about San Jose

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.