WASHINGTON, D.C. – It has been, well, a long while since so many Canadian players found themselves at the same top-level pro event in the same city.
But the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., which has always been rather Canadian-friendly, is an oasis for the Canucks as they get ready for the Rogers Cup in Montreal and Toronto next week.
Genie Bouchard is already straight into the Montreal draw and veteran Aleksandra Wozniak will receive a wild card, so both are here. Wozniak is using her injury protection ranking. Françoise Abanda, who is represented by the agency that owns the tournament, Lagardère, also received a main-draw wild card after originally getting one only into the qualifying.
Vasek Pospisil, a finalist here in 2014 (he lost to Milos Raonic after beating Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych during the week) is in the house, as well as 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov, crowned the junior boys' Wimbledon champion just a week ago. Shapovalov, who is being courted by all the agencies, was given a wild card into the men's singles draw by Lagardère.
Here's what everyone looked like over the last few days practicing on the Rock Creek Park courts.
Daniel Nestor, who reached the final at the Hamburg tournament Sunday with Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, is here playing with last summer's partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France. Nestor will team up with Pospisil in Toronto next week. Gloucester, Ont's Gabriela Dabrowski is the top seed in doubles with partner Zhaoxuan Yang of China. Abanda also is playing doubles, with Russia's Varvara Flink.
Across the country in Stanford, Calif., former Stanford University player Carol Zhao again received a wild card into the city's WTA Tour Premier event. As (bad) luck would have it, she drew the most accomplished recent Stanford player, Nicole Gibbs, in the first round (the two are also playing doubles together).