Sloane Stephens returns to the Citi Open to defend her title
Sloane Stephens poses with the trophy after winning the 2015 Citi Open. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

Defending champion Sloane Stephens will make her return to Rock Creek Park, the site of her first ever WTA title. She will headline the Citi Open field along with current top entry in the field Samantha Stosur who regrouped a difficult 2016 season so far with a French Open semifinals showing. Surprise French Open quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers also joins the field.

Stosur at the 2015 Citi Open.Nick Wass/Associated Press

Two More Notable Names Head to DC

Along with Stephens, Stosur, and Rogers, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and German Sabine Lisicki join the fray in Rock Creek Park. Bouchard has made three appearances in Washington DC. In each of her three appearances, she’s made it to the second round but no further so she looks to break that streak this year. Sabine Lisicki will be making her first ever appearance in DC.

Remembering Stephens’ Remarkable Run

As stated earlier, Stephens won her first ever WTA title in DC, finally ending the hump of her not being able to win a title despite her strong playstyle. She began her road unseeded, meaning she could have drawn anyone in the first round. Fortunately, she got Magda Linette in the opening round who she took out with no problem. She was fortunate enough to not even play a second round match as the 2014 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to withdraw with a lower left leg injury giving the Amerian a walkover.

In the quarterfinals, she met fellow American Louisa Chirico who was coming off of a brilliant three set win over fifth-seeded Alize Cornet. One break in each set was good enough to send Stephens through to the semifinals where she met Samantha Stosur. The first set was a highly-contested one, where the American took it in a tiebreaker before smashing through the second 6-0.

The final, she met Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, another player who haSs failed to deliver the titles despite all the accolades in her junior career. It was one-way traffic for Sloane Stephens, lifting up the title she waited for long.