Storms wreak havoc on Citi Open schedule

Remark

Washington by no means places its greatest foot ahead in August, but that’s the perennial spot on the ATP calendar for the Citi Open. And that each one however ensures gamers should battle not solely the opponent throughout the online but additionally stifling warmth, sweltering humidity and stoppages due to late-summer thunderstorms.

A second consecutive afternoon of rain Friday compressed the match’s already backlogged schedule additional and inconvenienced ticket holders, closing the grassy expanse simply north of Rock Creek Park Tennis Heart that doubles as a parking zone as a result of it was too waterlogged for vehicles.

Till thunderclaps and lighting halted play at 4:32 p.m., simply over 4 hours of matches had been contested. In that point, each the lads’s and girls’s quarterfinal fields had been decided as extra seeded gamers tumbled, together with American Reilly Opelka and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, and some upstarts stunned.

The unwelcome cease in play, which lasted practically three hours, put the proceedings additional behind and led match officers to discover choices for crowning a males’s and girls’s victor Sunday as scheduled.

At Citi Open, it’s grind and survive within the warmth of a D.C. summer time

Which will imply staging each the quarterfinals and semifinals on Saturday and, if want be, beginning Saturday’s matches sooner than midday, as introduced.

Had Friday’s climate cooperated, a half-dozen gamers would have been required to compete twice anyway — first to finish rain-halted third-round matches from Thursday and once more to contest quarterfinal matches.

Nick Kyrgios, the match’s 2019 champion, was scheduled to play thrice Friday. First, he needed to end his third-round match towards the fourth-seeded Opelka. Assuming he received that match, as he did, Kyrgios was scheduled to contest his quarterfinal towards Hyattsville native Frances Tiafoe, who additionally mopped up a rain-halted match from Wednesday, ousting eighth-seeded Botic van de Zandschulp. Lastly, Kyrgios was scheduled to return for a Friday nightcap with doubles accomplice Jack Sock towards the French tandem of Nicolas Mahut and Édouard Roger-Vasselin.

For some gamers, Washington’s warmth and hassles proved an excessive amount of.

In a late-night Twitter post, American Taylor Fritz defined why he retired from his third-round match within the thick of Wednesday’s warmth whereas trailing Britain’s Dan Evans 1-4 within the third set, referencing a beforehand undisclosed foot harm that he mentioned had restricted his coaching since Wimbledon.

“Typically, I pride myself on my fitness and ability to compete in very hot/humid, brutal conditions like today,” Fritz wrote. “… Today I constantly felt like I was going to pass out, my vision was going fuzzy, and the only thing that can really prepare me for playing in these conditions … is playing in these conditions, something I just haven’t been able to do while nursing my foot.”

Different gamers say the trials of Washington’s Citi Open are making them stronger — even in defeat. That was the view of Opelka, 24, after his loss to Kyrgios.

The 6-foot-11 Opelka, who boasts the most important serve in males’s tennis, confronted the unenviable process Friday of clawing again from a 6-7 (7-1), 1-2 deficit towards Kyrgios, whose personal serve is a blast to be feared.

After an evening to sleep on their unfinished enterprise, Opelka and Kyrgios strode onto Stadium Courtroom round 2:30 p.m. The primary level didn’t go Opelka’s method, and instantly he was down Love-40 on his serve. Kyrgios broke and didn’t look again, needing simply 14 minutes to shut the uneven proceedings, 7-6 (1), 6-2, ending with 12 aces to Opelka’s 13.

Nonetheless, Opelka referred to as his two matches at this 12 months’s Citi Open a useful expertise.

“I hadn’t played many [hard-court] matches,” Opelka mentioned, “so it is a starting point of the hard-court season for me. It’s a critical step. The humidity, the climate, the heat — it’s all great prep for the U.S. Open because that’s what happens in New York.”

Reigning U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, 19, remains to be alive in her Citi Open debut and was scheduled to face Liudmila Samsonova on Friday evening within the quarterfinals. Raducanu mentioned she marches on with higher perception in her toughness and resolve after weathering a close to three-hour match towards Camila Osorio on Thursday.

Calling her effort “pretty monumental” in preventing again for the 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) victory over Osorio, Raducanu mentioned: “It just gives you a lot of confidence coming through a match like that. Physically, I’m pretty pleased with how I held up in that match.”

Of the highest 10 males’s seeds, solely two made it to the quarterfinals: prime seed Andrey Rublev, who ousted American Maxime Cressy, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), and the Tenth-seeded Tiafoe.

Among the many seeds who joined Opelka in defeat Friday had been Dimitrov, who was overwhelmed by American Sebastian Korda, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; eighth-seeded Van de Zandschulp, who fell to Tiafoe, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; and ninth-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark, ushered out by wild-card J.J. Wolf, a former Huge Ten participant of the 12 months who compiled a 35-2 document as a junior at Ohio State, within the day’s greatest upset. Wolf superior, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Tiafoe and Van de Zandschulp twice tried to complete their third-round match Thursday earlier than rain suspended play for the evening at one set every.

“Yesterday was tougher than today,” Van de Zandschulp mentioned after his loss Friday. “You go on and off court; you’re not sure after the second [delay] if you’re going to finish the match. You have to take care of what you’re eating between delays to keep enough energy and be ready to go on court at any minute. It’s pretty tough, matches like this.”

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