COCO GAUFF IS RETURNING TO PLAY AT THE 2020 CITI OPEN
CITI OPEN CELEBRATES THE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE ADDITION
OF THE WOMEN’S EVENT
WITH THIS ANNOUNCEMENT
GAUFF TO ALSO DEFEND HER 2019 CITI OPEN DOUBLES TITLE
(December 5, 2019) Coco Gauff is returning to the Nation’s Capital this summer for the Citi Open.
The 15-year-old American tennis sensation who earned worldwide attention with her star-making run at Wimbledon last summer and capped off a remarkable 2019 campaign as the youngest player ranked inside the Top 100, is poised to make her second appearance in Washington.
The Citi Open, which returns to the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center from August 1-August 9, 2020, remains one of five tournaments in the U.S. to feature fields from both the ATP and WTA Tours.
Next summer will mark the 10th anniversary of the Citi Open’s expansion to include a women’s field. To celebrate the occasion, the Citi Open is thrilled to announce Gauff – one of the rising stars on the WTA Tour – as one of the first player commitments for 2020.
“Seeing the energy and excitement that Coco brought to our Citi Open fans and community last summer was one of the highlights of the tournament, so we are thrilled to welcome her back in 2020,” said Mark Ein, owner of MDE Tennis, the manager of the Citi Open. “Around the world, people are witnessing that Coco is a compelling talent and personality on the court and a wonderful representative of our sport off the court. She is certainly a big part of the future of tennis and the perfect headliner to help us commemorate the tenth anniversary of the addition of the women’s tournament to the Citi Open.”
Gauff was among the headliners at the 2019 Citi Open which shattered several tournament records, including attendance records as seven of the tournament’s eleven sessions sold out, including one of the qualifying rounds, when she was the headliner.
In her maiden appearance last summer, Gauff earned a pair of wins during the qualifying rounds to secure a berth in the main draw. Gauff also partnered with fellow American teenager Caty McNally to capture the women’s doubles crown – the first WTA title for both rising stars. She will both play singles and defend her doubles title at the 2020 Citi Open.
“I’m super excited to announce that I’m coming back to D.C. to play the Citi Open,” Gauff said. “I hope I’m able to defend my doubles title with Caty. I’m excited to be back in the capital of my home country. I definitely had a lot of fun last year and I hope I can do it again.”
Gauff, who became the youngest woman to qualify for Wimbledon in the Open era, defeated her idol and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the first round at the All England Club, before saving two match points in a third-round triumph over Polona Hercog. Along the way, Gauff became the youngest player to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon since 1991.
Gauff’s Grand Slam success continued at the US Open, where she earned a pair of three-set victories on Louis Armstrong Stadium, before ultimately falling in the third round to defending champion Naomi Osaka in front of a packed crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium in one of the most memorable matches of the 2019 US Open.
Although the WTA’s Age Eligibility Rule limited the number of tournaments Gauff could play last year, the native of Delray Beach, Florida, made the most of her opportunities.
In October, Gauff captured her first career WTA singles crown as she dispatched former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the final of the Linz Open. Along the way, she defeated Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals for her first career Top 10 win. Gauff also became the youngest WTA singles champion since 2004.
A week later, Gauff capped off her 2019 season with another doubles title as she and McNally partnered again to win the Luxembourg Open.
Gauff, who can expand her tournament schedule once she turns 16 in March, finished 2019 with career-high rankings of No.68 in singles and No.76 in doubles.
Gauff has also quickly become an inspiration both on and off the court. In November, Gauff was featured as part Time Magazine’s inaugural 100 Next list, which celebrates rising stars from a range of industries, who are shaping the future on a global stage. Gauff is also a nominee for the WTA’s Newcomer of the Year award. The winner will be announced December 11.
Citi Open, which is home to the only ATP 500 tournament in the U.S. and one of only 13 around the world, returned to the US Open Series last year for the first time since 2014. The US Open Series is a summer hard-court swing of men’s and women’s tournaments leading up to the US Open. Other US Open Series cities include Newport (ATP), Atlanta (ATP), San José (WTA), Toronto (WTA), Montreal (ATP), Cincinnati (ATP/WTA) and Winston-Salem (ATP).
The longtime beneficiary of Citi Open is the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, a non-profit which provides free tennis and educational programs for children in underserved communities. The tournament is one of WTEF’s biggest annual fundraisers and has raised millions for youth programs in the Washington D.C. area.