Rising stars headline next batch of Citi Open entrants

Plenty of star power from the next wave of tennis superstars will head to the capital of the United States as they take on the Citi Open.

Rising stars headline next batch of Citi Open entrants
Tiafoe and Shapovalov have a little fun before heading out to court at last year's Laver Cup (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

At a French Open watch party involving the Washington Kastles and the French Embassy, Citi Open has announced four new players who will be added to the field. Denis Shapovalov, Hyeon Chung, and Frances Tiafoe will be joining the men while Naomi Osaka joins the women. All four players join an exciting field which sees Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, and many more top-quality players.

Making Their Mark

All four of the new entrants into Citi have all made their mark within the last year. Tiafoe, who hails not too far from Washington DC in College Park, MD, won his first title this year in Delray Beach and also made the final in Estoril. 

Shapovalov made his big splash last summer, defeating Rafael Nadal in Montreal en route to the semifinals. He went on to make the fourth round of the US Open last year as well. This year, the Canadian has steadily climbed up the rankings, currently inside the world's top 30 after making the fourth round in Miami and the semifinals in Madrid.

Chung became one to watch for this year after claiming the inaugural ATP NextGen Finals in Milan in dominating fashion. The Korean, who had never made a Grand Slam second week, had a brilliant run at the Australian Open as he made the semifinals, defeating Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic along the way before retiring to eventual champion Roger Federer due to blisters.

Chung's first title came in Milan at the ATP NextGen Finals (Emilo Andreoli/Getty Images)
Chung's first title came in Milan at the ATP NextGen Finals (Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
 

At Indian Wells and Miami, he made his first two career Masters quarterfinals, losing to eventual finalist Federer in Indian Wells and then the eventual champion in John Isner in Miami.

Osaka was the WTA Newcomer of the Year two years ago but has made her big splash more recently. The 20-year-old hired Sascha Bajin, the former hitting partner of Serena, Wozniacki, and Azarenka, and it has paid off so far this year. The Japanese number one made her first second week of a Slam in Australia, losing to eventual finalist Simona Halep

Osaka also claimed the first title of her career at Indian Wells. The Japanese number one was unseeded at the time and beat the like of Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Halep, and Daria Kasatkina to claim the title. The following week, she defeated her idol Serena Williams in the opening round in Miami.

Osaka posing with her Indian Wells title (Jimmie48 Photography)
Osaka posing with her Indian Wells title (Jimmie48 Photography)

Words From Tournament Director Keely O'Brien

With this year being the 50th anniversary of the tournament, Tournament Director Keely O'Brien had some high praise for these stars "This young, talented group are some of the hottest names in tennis right now. They are quickly rising up the rankings and making headlines with their big performances. What they have been able to accomplish on the court at 19, 20 and 22 years old is incredible. Their personalities are also quite engaging. From their on-air interviews to their social media, you see bright, humble and often funny individuals sharing their stories from on and off the court. So, while we celebrate 50 years of history here in DC, I hope this Tournament continues to be a storyline in their careers.”