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Nadal to play for first time in DC

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Rafael Nadal, currently the No. 3 world-ranked tennis player, is heading to Washington, D.C., for his first time, Citi Open tournament officials announced on Thursday.

The Spanish tennis player will head to the District to play in the Citi Open tournament, which is scheduled to run from July 31 to Aug. 8.

It will be the first time he’s played in a tournament since he lost to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, currently ranked No. 1, during the semifinals of the French Open in June.

Nadal announced that he would not be playing in the Wimbledon Grand Slam in London or the Tokyo Olympics, citing health concerns following the grueling clay-court match.

“I am very excited to come to Washington for the first time,” Nadal said in a statement. “I have never been there and it’s one more place I wanted to come and play. I am looking forward to playing again and Washington shall be the best start for the US Summer Swing for me.”

The tournament also comes several weeks before the year’s last Grand Slam at the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to run from Aug. 20 to Sept. 12. 

Nadal will also be joined by four players who reached the quarterfinals during Wimbledon: Denis Shapovalov, Hubert Hurkacz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Karen Khachanov.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rafael Nadal, who is not just one of the greatest tennis players of all-time, but also a global sporting icon and inspiring role model to our Washington community this summer,” Citi Open Chairman and CEO of MDE Tennis Mark Ein said in a statement.

Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Tags Coronavirus grand slam Rafael Nadal Tennis

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