Day 1 Citi Open Spotlight
New day, new tournament, new adventure. This week, I am at the Citi Open in Washington DC's Rock Creek Park. I can't help but feel a little overwhelmed as this ATP 500 tournament as it is exponentially (for my math friends) bigger than the Newport ATP 250 tournament last week. I know that may sound obvious, but I can't help feel the dramatic difference going from one to the other. There are more players, higher rankings, more sponsors, more people, and last but not least, more to eat in the media room. My first day and a half here in DC has been incredible so far and I can't wait to dig in.
The good news is my Airbnb is close and my hosts are really nice. The bad news is it's HOT. I'm not just talking about the competition, but the temperatures and humidity can melt the best of us. But the heat can't spoil my enthusiasm or that of the many sponsors. There are soooo many sponsor tents! It's like going to a big airport for a flight and you end up shopping. I hope I can control myself from buying all the latest and greatest tennis gear here (look for my details in future blogs).
I had a chance today to interview a family friend, Bonnie Vona, the Senior Manager of Junior Competition/Player Development for Mid-Atlantic USTA. She not only is a great representative for tennis, but at this tournament she made sure we had a chance to make a difference by featuring an organization called Thanks USA (www.thanksusa.org). Thanks USA "provides need-based college, technical and vocational education scholarships and pathways to meaningful employment for children and spouses of U.S. military personnel." Bonnie was so interesting to talk with. She discussed how she got started with the USTA, her role as a parent of two children who are in the military, and how she has come to support and organize events for Thanks USA at the Citi Open and regionally.
Hang on to your tennis hats and visors, tennis fans. This tournament has a lot to offer. The hardest part of covering this for you is to choose what to cover. I'll do my best, but I am still learning. I would love to hear from you and let me know what you like or don't like as well as suggestions to cover different parts of this amazing tournament. Stay tuned!
p.s. wish me luck as i signed up to be a volunteer hitting partner to the pros. my name is on the list and i'm excited and scared about the possibility