The annual Mubadala Citi DC Open ran from Saturday July 29 through Sunday August 6, has taken the district by storm for yet another summer, showcasing over 90 athletes from around the world. Also known as the “Washington Open”, this event has seized the DMV area every August for over 50 years and has seen some of the greatest tennis players in history from Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe to Serena Williams and Yannick Noah.
Ashe was a major factor in making the Mubadala Citi DC Open what it is today, being the first African American male to win a major tennis championship at the U.S. Open at Forest Hill, he used his position to persuade the tournament to be held in a public park and integrated area so all people, regardless of race could watch the matches in the district. As a local summer outing activity with tickets beginning at around $15, sports fans, and DC residents alike flocked to Rock Creek Park Tennis Centre to witness the festivities.
As the tournament reached its midpoint Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz and Christopher Eubanks were some of today’s biggest tennis names leading the pack. Matches concluded on Sunday with the winners of the Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, and Women’s Doubles being finalized that evening. Dan Evans, British tennis player, ranked 21st in the world took the title for the Men’s Singles Division, with Coco Gauf, from the USA, ranked 4th in the world in women’s tennis, taking the title for the Women’s Singles Division. In the Doubles Division the team of Andrés Moteni and Máximo González, both from Argentina, took the Men’s Doubles title and the team of Vera Zvonareva from Russia and Laura Siegemund, from Germany, took the title for the Women’s Doubles Division.
With all the expected foot traffic seen at Mubadala Citi DC Open many local businesses sought to partner with the event and through this vein the tournament hopes to carry on Ashe’s tradition.
Allowing these businesses to set up tents around the perimeter of the courts, the Open provides a space to promote their services contributing to the greater DMV community and offer themed picture opportunities, games, and raffles to win special prizes. The Washington Tennis and Education Foundation propagated a tent by the north entrance, informing visitors on their programs that help underprivileged youth.
“We are the non-profit beneficiary of the Mubadala CITI DC Open. We have two campuses, this one here, where we do tennis instruction and we have a campus in South East that has six indoor courts and nine outdoor courts”, said Mary Marchetti “We work with kids 4 to 18 years old in our program with the intent and the goal to get them into college successfully.” Marchetti informed LNT, that the kids that go to WTEF do not have to pay for any tennis equipment, while also benefiting from free tennis couching. Their programs are about “building life champions” as their mantra states, combining a tennis education with access to educational instructors, tutors, mental health coaches, as well as computer and robotics labs.
Children’s National, one of the nation’s premiere youth sports medicine centres, also manned a tent at the Mubadala Citi DC Open. “We’re here for a couple of reasons: to fight for the Children’s Sport’s Medicine Centre which is one of the nation’s premiere sports medicine centers for the youth, as well as bringing educational awareness to sports injuries and the issues that can occur from improper rehabilitation and training,” said the attendant. He told LNT of the importance of receiving the proper care when it comes to a sports industry, and the programs Children’s National to reagitate and educated young athletes. The tent also offered a raffle to win a free personalized physical assessment for any sport or fitness goal, including time with their personal trainers.
Another tent was held by Mighty Meals, a local business serving the DMV area. “We’re a heathy meal prep company based in Fairfax, Virginia, serving all the way up to Baltimore and down to Richmond, from Annapolis to Frederick,” said the attendant. “We’re local, never frozen, and we deliver straight to your door… and you don’t have to cook it that’s the best part!” His tent was holding a Tennis Pick’em Challenge, allowing passersby to pick the winners for the matches of the day for a chance to win $800 worth of meals. The Mubadala Citi DC Open has brought international entertainment to the DVM, although it is an event based in community, carrying on Arthur Ashe’s message of inclusion with local businesses forming the heart of experience.
By Dillin Bett