Fans flocked to Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in D.C. Monday to see some national and international tennis superstars play in person in this year’s Citi Open.
One of the fans was Karen McGinnis, of New Jersey, who came to see Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, who his competing for the first time in D.C.
“The real reason we came was to see Rafael Nadal,” she said.
Fran Smith, of Silver Spring, was also drawn to the big names set to play.
“It’s a great opportunity for people in our area to see some of the big-time players,” Smith said. “With these courts, we were almost in the first row, you know, you get so close to them.”
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) July 30, 2021
Most people, however, were just excited to be watching tennis in person again. Last year, the tournament was canceled because of troubling health and safety trends amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Sue Thompson came from New Jersey for the tournament and was excited to experience it in person.
“We’ve been trying to do this since before the pandemic and last year it was canceled obviously,” Thompson said.
Last month, it was announced that Citi Open will allow for 100% capacity for spectators.
“You can really get close to the players and take advantage of this beautiful weather,” said John Felts who came with his dad.
Felts, who has been playing for three years, said he can’t wait to meet players and have a fun experience. And he hopes this to be an arena where he plays in the future.
“It feels awesome. Hopefully one day I can be in this spot,” Felts said.