Top junior Tiafoe receives wild card into Citi Open

July 27, 2014 08:01 PM
2013 Orange Bowl and 2014 Easter Bowl champion Francis Tiafoe will be making his ATP main-draw debut in Washington, D.C.

By Citi Open Staff

World Top 10 junior Francis Tiafoe has received a wild card entry to the main draw of the Citi Open. It will be the College Park, Md., native’s first foray into an ATP World Tour tournament’s main draw.

Tiafoe, 16, won the Citi Open Wild Card Challenge in June and earned his spot with a wild card entry in the qualifying rounds. Tournament officials, however, decided that main draw play would be more fitting for the hometown player.

“We’re excited to watch Francis in his first main draw match,” said Jeff Newman, tournament
director. “This is his hometown and this is where he trains, so we expect a great crowd to come out and support him.”

Tiafoe trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, one of the leading training programs in the country. In 2013, he became the youngest winner of the Orange Bowl Championships, and earlier this year he played at both French Open juniors and the Wimbledon juniors. He was the No. 1 seed in Paris.

“I’m so excited to play in my first main draw ATP event and I can’t imagine a better place to play than in front of my hometown crowd,” Tiafoe said. “I’m so thankful to the Citi Open for giving me this great opportunity.”

Three other juniors will receive a wild card entry into the qualifying rounds, beginning Saturday, July 26. Stefan Kozlov, 16, the current No. 2 ranked junior in the world, reached the boys’ singles finals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. University of Virginia junior Ryan Shane, 20, helped the Cavaliers win the NCAA championship in 2013, and was recently named “Player to Watch” by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Jordi Arconada, 17, the runner-up in the Wild Card Challenge, will take Tiafoe’s place in the qualifying rounds.

The Citi Open will be held July 26 through Aug. 3 at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park. Its main draw features three of the Top 10 players in the ATP World Tour — Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov. The superb men’s field also includes Kei Nishikori, top American and 2013 Citi Open runner-up John Isner; and top French player Richard Gasquet. Kevin Anderson, Gael Monfils and Feliciano Lopez round out the men’s singles field in the Top 25.

In addition, Wimbledon and BB&T Atlanta Open doubles champions Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock will compete in the men’s singles and doubles fields. The doubles draw is headlined by world No. 1 ranked team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who will vie for their 99th team career title.