Fatigue, Injury Cited as Big Names Pull Out of Citi Open

Washington, D.C., July 17, 2016 — Holding the only ATP 500 level tournament in the nation’s capitol is a big deal, even for a city that’s used to big deals. But it’s bittersweet when fans’ expectations are shattered by player pull-outs.

The list lengthened yesterday as Tomas Berdych, the presumptive number-one seed, pulled out due to fatigue. Nick Kyrgios, number 18 in the world, also withdrew. "He sustained a hip injury at Wimbledon,” the tournament said. If that wasn’t enough Americas favorite doubles team, Mike and Bob Bryan, will not compete at the Rock Creek Park facility. Mike and Bob lost in their Davis Cup rubber against Croatians Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig Saturday, a rare loss for the twins in this team competition. Mike, though, requires “Treatment on his right wrist after his match under doctor’s orders and will need a minimum of one week to rest.” 

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Three-time Champion Juan Martin del Potro also removed himself from the draw due to continued concern for a left wrist and competition in the quarterfinals of Davis Cup held in Italy. The Argentines defeated the Italians, 3-1, and will play in its 11th semifinal rubber in 15 years against Great Britain in September.

“I am very disappointed I will not be able to compete for my fans in DC,” Del Potro said in a tournament press release. “I have had many special moments at this event. However, this has not been a typical year for me. While rehab has progressed well in the last few months, I need to be careful not to push the wrist too hard until it is fully strengthened.”

Although right-handed, Del Potro has had three surgeries on his left wrist over the last two years. 

Ernests Gulbis has also withdrawn, citing a wrist injury. And, finally, Rajeev Ram withdrew due to fatigue. 

“These are great players who we obviously would have liked to see compete in the tournament of our fans,” Jeff Newman, tournament director at Citi Open, said. “We respect that their health is first priority and hope that they would be back on court very soon."

The withdrawals are probably a result to three things:

  • This year was the first time Wimbledon began three weeks, not two, after Roland Garros. The extended time gave players longer recovery and preparation time between the second and third majors of the year. 
  • Davis Cup quarterfinal ties July 15, 16 and 17, which came on the heels of Wimbledon, forced those players to continue competition.
  • The 2016 Rio Olympics begins Friday, August 5, and closes Sunday, August 21. Competing in the international games, which are held every four years, is a high priority for players. With a mandatory Masters 1000 tournament — Rogers Cup — scheduled to begin July 25, the Monday following the close of Citi Open, players must adjust their plans accordingly.
© Jane Voigt Tennis 2013