Citi Open Draw: Rafael Nadal begins his quest for title No.100

The Citi Open 2021 draw is out.

In his Washington D.C. debut, Rafael Nadal will face the winner between Jack Sock and Yoshihito Nishioka, with a potential third-round match against Lloyd Harris. 

Photo via Citi Open

Rafa’s potential route to the final:

  • 1st round: Bye
  • 2nd round: Jack Sock or Yoshihito Nishioka
  • 3rd round: Lloyd Harris
  • Quarter-final: Cameron Norrie
  • Semi-final: Grigor Dimitrov
  • Final: Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jannik Sinner or Alex de Minaur

If the men play to seed the quarter-final line up will be:

  • (1) Nadal vs. Norrie (7)
  • (4) Dimitrov vs. Evans (6)
  • (5) Sinner vs. de Minaur (3)
  • (8) Opelka vs. Auger-Aliassime (2)

View Singles Draw

Rafa’s accepted a wild-card entry into the 2021 Citi Open and seeks to earn a career milestone – his 100th ATP Tour title – in Washington D.C. With 88 singles and 11 doubles titles to his iconic name, Rafa’s early Citi Open practice sessions on Saturday and Sunday will be open to fans. 

The Citi Open represents the first tournament in Rafa’s run-up to the US Open, which he has won four times (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019). A fifth US Open title in September would elevate Rafa to the top of the list of all-time Grand Slam singles championships, breaking the tie he currently holds with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.



  1. Hi Kirk,

    😂 Re your post at 12:49 AM, I am getting old, but I can still see Rafa quite well. Rafa and Grigor finished practice at approximately 8:45pm local time, I had no problem.😉

    • Ha!😂 I have never been to see Rafa in person so was thinking it would be so crowded that binoculars would be needed to get a good at look at him! I cannot imagine what it must be like to see Rafa person. Enjoy and keep your updates coming!

    • Margo I would love to know what choice words the German scientist used for ND. I’m at a loss for words at this point Jon Weiham wrote an interesting article about him….It was a bit of a struggle for me to understand if he was defending him or criticizing his behavior. I guess on Twitter ND got blasted & has lost a lot of fans….which is a good thing. He gets away with it most of the time but this time he was on the world’s stage & fans didn’t appreciate his uncontrolled tratums. Rafa even said champions should not act like that…It is such an honor for most athletes to be invited to the Olympics & win or lose they are humbled by the experience!

    • Mimi …when you’re in the stands do something so that we can see you! When I was at Indian Wells in 2013 a lady sitting near me had her face painted half red & half yellow & boy was she loud! Then there was a group of people who had a letter on each Tshirt spelling RAFA! Next time I go see Rafa I’m going to put a red Tutu on & have yellow pom poms so you guys can see me! 🤗

      • Excellent idea, do it! How about running into the court during a point? Oh, wait, not funny. Only baseball and football fans do that…..

  2. Mimi @ 12:42am
    Yes, Kie didn’t lose, he was obliterated by YKW.

    Mimi @ 12:48am
    Sooo, Rafa shows up and you dump me. Your fingers couldn’t control themselves so they cut off any replies. Well…it is Rafa and you are bringing the excitement of DC to our RNF site. No hard feelings 😂

  3. “What he achieved this year is something, well, amazing,” Nadal said of Djokovic. “I definitely believe that he can do it, without a doubt.”

    Rafa above (from ATP website), on Djoker’s chances of winning the grand slam.

    Rafa WHY must you speak like this about your biggest rival? Djokovic has enough self belief as it is without you adding some more to his. Build your own confidence champ!!

    I love Rafa… Honestly that statement of his makes no sense to me. How can you believe in your rival’s chances of winning ‘without a doubt?’ You are basically ruling yourself out!

    Am I missing something here?

    • yes you are. Rafa was tought good manners by his uncle. Unless djokovic he was learned to always respect his opponent.

      That doesnt mean that rafa is going to wave the white flag at the us open. I hope that rafa used the last weeks to work on his serve, backhand and his nerves.

      The serve and backhand let him down at the french open. Rafa needs matches on hardcourt to build up confidence for the us open. I hope he will be citi open, torono and cincinnati and not bowing out of cincinnati. If he manages to do well he could have a summer like 2013.

      Hopefully djokovic confidence has been shattered by zverev

  4. I hope the Italian ATP players at the USOPEN can do against you know who what the Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs did against his opponents in the 100m Olympics….he obliterated them.

    • It’s the Rafa Effect ….As soon as Rafa announced he was playing The Citi DC torment sold out with a 15,000 waiting list. Standing ovations & hoards of fans Rafa is a Rock Star where ever he goes! Warms my heart! On the other side or the spectrum ND made a fool out of himself.. smashing racquets tossing them into the empty stands having meltdowns he is a disgrace not only tennis but in ever aspect to humanity. He showed his true colors in front of the whole world & he should be ashamed. He goes home with no golden slam no metals only smashed racquets & perhaps a bruised ego ( don’t know if he’s cable of that emotion) His meltdowns are nothing more than a spoiled brat not getting his way! I think he was the most misbehaved Olympian in Tokyo…do they have a metal for that? Shame Shame on him! Enough he makes me so angry I need to calm down & focus on Rafa!

      • Ra’sfa has always said that his first goal is to be a “good person” and after that a good tennis player. That’s why he is loved by everyone worth being loved by! Just reading the little write up on the ATP site today about Rafa being in DC made me smile. If Djokovic does win the USO this year, Rafa will smile and say “Enhorabuena!” Rafa always sees the glass half full, never half empty. But I’m sure Rafa was very happy when PCB beat Djokovic and then won the bronze medal. After all, Pablo is the Spaniard, no?

      • Ziggy…Today, I met two male German scientists who follow tennis and they had some choice words about YKW’s behavior at the Olympics. I told them I couldn’t agree more. So YES, the whole world sees him for what he is.

    • Corrections: Medals not metals 😱 so many boo boos! Got a new phone & not familiar with it yet! Please forgive my ignorance !

    • Margo, before Rafa entered the court, the announcer was saying, “You guys are amazing, it’s only a practice, not even a match.” Didn’t he know WHO we are waiting for?😂

      BTW., I recorded a video as Rafa, Sebi, and their team members enter center court. I replayed it and I could hear myself calling “Rafa” loud and clear.😝 I already sent it to my husband and daughter.😉

      Don’t know what happened to Rafa’s first practice due to rain, but hopefully I can watch him again at 5pm.🤞

      • Sounds like you’re having a BLAST! Sooo happy for the Mimi🤗

        The sun should be out by 5PM, according to my weather map. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.

        When is movie night? I want to watch that video. I’ll bring buttered popcorn and crackerjacks for everyone and for the video producer, too.


      • Mimi, I love that you could hear yourself on your video, I think it’s important to always put something personal into any photo or recording of something you want to remember, even if it’s just your voice, your hand, your foot – that way, when you look back, it makes it more real. Anyone can buy a postcard, or these days take a screenshot, but the live experience is something else. So happy you’re there, enjoying the moment!

      • Margo, Grigor Dimitrov just showed up, I think he is Rafa’s practicing partner?? The announcer says Rafa will be here around 6:30pm.

        A qualifying match ended, then Kei Nishikori, his practicing partner, and his coach, Michael Chang showed up for a practice session. Didn’t he lose to ND in the quarterfinals in Tokyo?

        jas_uk, 👍

        Sorry for any typo, I am sitting here waiting for Rafa without my reading glasses lol

  5. There is a really admiring story about Rafa in the Washington Post (Saturday) by reporter Liz Clark. Mimi should especially enjoy it since it focuses on Rafa’s D.C. practice sessions.

    The President of the Tennis Channel is quoted as calling Rafa “a human ratings point” for television. “Every ball is the next most important moment of his life.”

    Americans are thrilled to see Rafa in D.C.

    • Hi David,

      I enjoyed reading it. Thank you!🙏

      You are right, it’s a joy to see and watch Rafa…during his evening session with Sebi, one fan saying loudly, “Welcome to DC Rafa.” Rafa turned around and said “Thank you” with a smile, so lovely!🥰

      Good luck to Rafa!🍀❤️

  6. So pleased that Rafa is back playing . And this comes off watching Djokevic lose 2 consecutive matches that he 2anted badly . I am a believer and this N.America tour can be just what Rafa needs to reclaim his dominance and the #1 ranking and of course the 21st Slam with a victory in the US Open . Yes , I am a believer and really it’s a confidence game for Rafa as his potential and game is already affirmed .Vamos let’s do it !

    • JT – I agree with your assessment. Please indulge mine.

      Many comments are made about Nole’s attitude and racket-smashing ways. For the most part I agree, those actions are less than mature.

      That said, the most disturbing actions in Novak’s loss to PCB was Nole’s quit. He quit.

      Roger would never quit. Our Rafa would NEVER quit. When ranking the best ever, “quitting” is a big fat sign of mental weakness.

      And please, spare me the notion that Joker was tired. It was HIS decision to do this.

      Vamos Rafa! PS Do you have any extra tickets for me to watch you?

      • Kirk, I also find his lack of respect, fair play, and empathy quite galling. As a 20-time Grand Slam champion that’s the record but as a person he’s a big nothing.

  7. Good luck my Champ, looking forward to see u back on court, we mic u, bring back the trophy and make us proud, hey Mimi Lau enjoy each and every minute ur in there, hope the atmosphere will bring u happiness and enjoy watching Rafa live

    • Thank you Thembani!🙏 Rafa practiced with Sebi this evening, just ended. What a treat! I like Sebi as well.🤗

  8. Sweet victory by Elina Svitolina in the bronze medal match after losing the 1st set 6-1.
    Congratulations Mme. Monfils!

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