COURT REPORT: Nadal to make first trip to D.C.

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When Rafael Nadal makes his Citi Open debut next month, the 20-time major champion will be embraced by a packed house.

In an agreement with city and federal officials, the ATP 500 tournament in Washington, D.C. announced Thursday its approval to welcome full-capacity crowds through its gates. The revelation is a stark contrast from what organizers experienced a year ago, when they just missed out on launching tennis’ reopening after canceling due to COVID-19 concerns.

Mark Ein, who took over managing rights of the tournament in 2019, told Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, "This has been in the works for a while, in partnership with the city and the park service. Everyone came together and decided this was the right thing to do.”

With the spectator increase signed off, those previously on a waiting list for tickets will receive first priority at gaining entry. Available sessions unsurprisingly sold out when news of Nadal’s participation was released.

In addition to the Spaniard, Wimbledon semifinalists Denis Shapovalov and Hubert Hurkacz, along with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex de Minaur, Grigor Dimitrov, Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Sebastian Korda, Frances Tiafoe and defending champion Nick Kyrgios, are among the players expected to compete at the US Open series event. In the 2019 final, Kyrgios edged Daniil Medvedev to lift his sixth ATP trophy. Former titlists Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori are also in the field.

In lieu of a WTA event, a women's invitational will be held. U.S. Olympians Coco Gauff, Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula—who won her first WTA title here two years ago—have been confirmed as participants.