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Fish Commits to New-Look Washington Event

Washington, U.S.A.

Fish© Getty ImagesMardy Fish is a two-time quarter-finalist in Washington.

Top-ranked American Mardy Fish will headline the ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament in Washington, D.C., to be played 28 July-5 August. The new-look event becomes the Citi Open and and will be played at an upgraded William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center.

“We’re thrilled to have the top-ranked American, Mardy Fish, committed early to this year’s Citi Open,” said Jeff Newman, Tournament Director and Senior Vice President at Lagardère-Unlimited. “2012 is a big year for the tournament – with a new title sponsor, the inclusion of a WTA women’s event this year, and new facility upgrades – and so it’s exciting to also have a Top 10 player participating in our event.”

Fish has been eager to return to the tournament after being forced to withdraw from the 2011 edition due to a bruised right heel he suffered the week before in the Los Angeles tournament.  Now 30, he is currently the top-ranked American – with just over 100 points separating him and the USA No. 2, John Isner. Last year he topped Isner to take the crown at the BT&T Atlanta Open, bringing his career singles titles total to six. He was also the runner-up at the Rogers Cup and the Farmers Classic. So far in 2012, he has maintained his Top 10 ranking highlighted by reaching the quarter-finals at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

As an ATP World Tour 500 level event, the Citi Open is recognised by the ATP World Tour as one of the top 20 tournaments worldwide and continually attracts the best men’s tennis players from around the globe. Past champions include five-time champion Andre Agassi, three-time champions Jimmy Connors, Guillermo Villas and Andy Roddick, two-time champions Ivan Lendl, Michael Chang and Juan Martin Del Potro along with Arthur Ashe, Stefan Edberg, Yannick Noah, James Blake, Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman and many more.

The WTA tournament, which was called the Citi Open and held the week before the then-Legg Mason Tennis Classic in 2011, will be played simultaneously with the ATP World Tour 500 event in 2012 only to accommodate the Olympics schedule. The inclusion of the women’s event this year will allow tournament organisers to create an enhanced experience for fans and players who attend, including numerous site upgrades such as a 2,500-seat show court to accommodate both tournaments.

As part of a multi-year commitment, Citi becomes just the seventh title sponsor in the 44-year history of the tournament, replacing Legg Mason, which had been the longest-running ATP title sponsor in North America to date (since 1994).

“The tournament has a storied history in Washington, D.C.,” said Dermot Boden, Citi Chief Brand Officer. “It’s been a prominent event on the ATP World Tour for years, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to do our part in carrying on the rich tradition, along with taking it to new heights as the Citi Open. This iconic Washington, D.C., event is a great way to mark our involvement in the local community, both on and off the court.”

“Tennis is truly a global sport, and we are fortunate to have one of the world’s most recognised and prestigious brands now entitling our tournament,” said Donald Dell, Group President of Lagardère Unlimited and Tournament Chairman. “We’re grateful to have had a long and prosperous relationship with Legg Mason, and we anticipate an excellent relationship and partnership with Citi for many years to come.”

An integral part of the sports and entertainment fabric of Washington, DC for 43 years, the Citi Open, a Lagardère Unlimited production, is owned by and benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), which seeks to improve the life prospects for DC area youth.   

Tickets for the 2012 Citi Open will go on sale on Thursday, May 10. For more information about the Citi Open and tickets please visit www.citiopentennis.com or call the tournament hotline at 202-721-9500.

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