Rafael Nadal will start his US hard court season in Washington

Rafael Nadal will return to competition by making his debut at the hard-court tournament in Washington.

The Citi Open announced Thursday that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is in the field for the July 31 to Aug. 8 event that serves as a US Open tuneup.

“I am very excited to come to Washington for the first time,” Rafa said in a statement. “I have never been there and it’s one more place I wanted to come and play. I am looking forward to playing again and Washington shall be the best start for the US Summer Swing for me. Looking forward to seeing again my US fans that I haven’t seen since I won the 2019 US Open in NYC!. Vamos!”

Photo via Australian Open

Rafa has not played since his loss to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the French Open last month.

He decided to sit out Wimbledon, which ends Sunday, and the Tokyo Olympics, which open July 23, saying his body needed time to rest and recover after the clay-court season.

The tournament says Rock Creek Park Tennis Center will be allowed to have spectators at 50% of capacity. Last year’s Citi Open was canceled because of the pandemic.

Source: Associated Press


  1. Rafa will always be my number one , but Shapovalov has won my heart after his reaction to his defeat , lovely young man , when Rafa, and Roger retire it’s nice to see that there are some decent guys to follow in their footsteps.

  2. shapovalov should have won the first two sets I am so dissapointed shapovalov handed the match to him. He had 11 breakpoints and got away with it. Djokovic will win unfortunatly sunday so that means a battle between novak en nadal who will win in new york

  3. Expected result sadly. Denis choked all three sets but I’m still upset to see him crying.

  4. What a bummer! Such a shame that Denis worked so hard and came away with nothing.
    Berrettini needs to serve bombs and play smart with angles. Even then, i don’t think it’ll be enough as Novak is hungry like a wolf for no.20.

  5. Novak is unphased by anything Denis is throwing at him. He’s conserving his energy for the final because he knows he’s got this one.

  6. its sometimes so demoralizing to watch djokovic matches. He was facing five breakpoints in the second set and 3-5 behind in the first set and he is know serving for 2-0 sets lead. Sometimes I wonder what happens inside his opponent head at that moment

    • It’s just unreal that Djoko always manages to win the crucial points in his matches. Even if his opponents might have played better the whole set, he will just hold on and then pocket the important points. Time and time again. Sick of that sight.
      Sometimes I feel like he knows some kinda dark magic. Never seen anyone do it on such a consistent basis.

  7. Hats off to Berrettini for the win.
    Oh no. After such a promising start, Shapo has donated the first set to Novak. He’s got to think of the positives, press delete and go again.

  8. Shap is looking focused and determined…
    Just hold serve for the next few games and the first set is yours!!!!

  9. Well done to Berrettini, now we just need Shapovalov to take the other spot, PLEASE🤞

  10. Looking forward to seeing you again in the US open VAMUS RAFA Best of luck 🙂😀👌

  11. Rafa has made a sensible decision to kick off his hard court campaign at the Citi Open. Even though it’s a smaller event, it has a very strong field and I’m hoping Rafa will be fit, healthy and raring to go. Best of luck to our champ.

    Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios has pulled out of the Olympics because he doesn’t want to play without a crowd. I suspect that there will be quite a few more withdrawals before it starts.

    • Hats off to Berrettini for the win. Shapo has made a promising start, but Nivak is prowling. He’s playing to force the errors.

  12. Hopefully nadal has used this free time to analyze his loss against djokovic at the french open and work on improving his game especially his serve and backhand and off course the mental part

  13. happy that he will be back mentally and physically recharged he needs match practice on hard court hopefully he will face djokovic before the us open en beat him. Nadal has more chance of beating djokovic at the us open then unfortunatly in melbourne.

    Cheering loudly for shapovalov tonight. Lucky for djokovic he again will play the second semi final. The organisation is doing everything they can to help him just like the french open this year and in 2018

  14. This is exciting news . I really hope Rafa gets to beat Novak at the US Open and avenge his Roland Garros loss . Had that match been played during the daytime , Rafa would have easily prevailed . I blame the scheduling as evening matches favor Djokovich .

  15. Good news Rafa we are ready to see you play tennis again vamosssssss champ 👍👍❤️

  16. All the best to you Rafa! Hope that you win your no.21 at this coming USO. Stay safe, fit and healthy!

  17. The US Open champion from 2019- will return & kick Djokovic’s butt in the final !

  18. Always nice and great to see you back Rafa! 😃. We were waiting for this, we miss you so much ‘King of Clay’, but we know you were happy and enjoying your ‘little Paradise’ with your love ones 🙏🏻😌.
    Vamos Rafa!!, amaze the World again, show your power our ‘Ranging bull’, you have more Tournaments and Grand Slam to win, no matters who is at the other side of the net😉

    • No – the seedings go off the rankings as normal, when someone’s only taken a wild card because they didn’t decide to play until it was too late to enter through the normal channels. So he should be seeded top.

  19. Please, RNF…it’s not Washington. Washington is a state on the opposite side of the country from where Washington, D.C. is located.

    Rafa will be playing in D.C.

  20. It will be so good to see you back in action Rafa. Wishing you the best of luck in the US Summer Swing. Vamos x

      • Can’t wait to see Rafa back on court , tennis just isn’t the same without him. I love that the Wimbledon crowd are so polite and cheer both players but I would really love them to get behind Denis today like they did for Andy and Roger. I think Denis was quite touched by the love they showed him when he defeated Andy so let’s hope it helps him today.

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