HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE FOR JTCC QUINTET AT THE CITI OPEN

JTCC alums Frances Tiafoe, Denis Kudla, and Andrew Fenty and current JTCC standout Robin Montgomery all have high hopes for their hometown tournament, the ATP World Tour 500/WTA International Citi Open, in Washington, D.C. which starts on Saturday.

Tiafoe has had a strong 2019 overall achieving three “personal bests” by reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in Australia and matching that maiden quarterfinal performance at an ATP Masters 1000 at the Miami Open. The 21-year-old also broke into the top 30 in the ATP world rankings this year.

Frances Tiafoe in action at the 2019 Miami Open (Art Seitz)

He is seeded #16 and has a bye to round two where he will face fellow American Bradley Klahn or Russian Alexander Bublik. The match is likely to be played on Wednesday and it will be the first time Tiafoe has come up against either potential opponent.

Kudla is playing for the eighth time at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center and will be looking to replicate his 2018 performance when he stormed through to the quarterfinals with notable victories over Frenchman Lucas Pouille and Russian Karen Khachanov. The Arlington, VA native arrives home in good form having acquitted himself well in his Wimbledon Center Court debut against eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the second round earlier in July.

Denis Kudla defeats Lucas Pouille at 2018 Citi Open (M.Bonfigli)

The Arlington, VA native has been drawn against wild card Tommy Paul. The duo have never played previously at ATP Tour level. The winner of their opening round clash will face Citi Open top seed and world #6 Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece.

Fenty had a superb freshman season representing the University of Michigan finishing with a 27-6 singles record. His victories included a win over Ohio State’s JJ Wolf, the top-ranked 2019 collegiate player. Recognized as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) freshman player of the year, Fenty earned his shot at the pros with a Citi Open qualifying wild card.

Andrew Fenty fully focused during his victory over JJ Wolf (Michigan Tennis)

The 19-year-old plays in the first round of the qualifying draw on Saturday. 

Morra also had an outstanding debut year playing college tennis. She became the first North Carolina freshman in program history to reach the semifinals of the NCAA Individual Singles Championship. Her 31-6 singles record saw her recognized as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) freshman of the year. The 19-year-old is competing in her second Citi Open having also featured in the 2017 qualifying draw.

Cameron Morra competing hard at the 2019 NCAA Championship (UNC Tennis)

The UNC star takes on Russia’s Varvara Gracheva in the opening round of the women’s qualifying tournament. The match is second on the schedule for the Grandstand court and should start at around 11:30 am on Saturday.

Montgomery, who started playing tennis as part of JTCC’s GEICO Game On! community outreach program, is making her WTA Tour debut at the age of 14 with a wild card entry into the women’s qualifying draw. She has had an outstanding 2019 to date as the runner-up at the prestigious Easter Bowl tournament in March and recording her best junior Grand Slam showing to date at Wimbledon by reaching the round of 16. Her current ITF junior world ranking is #49 making her the youngest player in the top 100.

Robin Montgomery on her way to the round of 16 at Wimbledon 2019 (FILA Tennis)

The draw has matched Montgomery against Australian Destanee Aiava. The duo play on the Stadium Court at 10 am on Saturday.

“Frances, Denis, Andrew and Robin are inspirational figures to everyone at JTCC,” said Vesa Ponkka, JTCC Senior Director of Tennis. “The chance to see them all in action in their hometown at one of the world’s biggest tournaments is very special. We hope everyone will be cheering for them.”