By Sigurd Neubauer
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios not only won the 2022 Citi Open but is one of the most exiting men’s tennis players to watch this year. At the tournament, he also made Citi Open history by being the first to win singles and doubles titles in the same year. Kyrgios previously won the 2019 Citi Open.
In the final, Kyrgios defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, 26, 6-4 6-3.
The match initially seemed tight as both players demonstrated considerable artistry, but Nishioka eventually won over much of the crowds as Kyrgios was closing in on the game.
What also became apparent from the match was the mutual respect between the two opponents, with Nishioka declaring during the closing ceremony that he had known Kyrgios since they were about 14 years old. He admitted, though, that the Australian holds a 4-0 record in the professional ranks.
In a post-match press conference, Nishioka said that he had sensed Kyrgios’ nervousness during their game, admitting that his demeanor had changed and that the Australian was in it to win.
From scorching heat to rain and thunderstorms, extreme weather impacted the otherwise tranquil and pleasant tournament. Several matches were suspended on Thursday and Friday as players swiftly retreated to their designated lounge while spectators found shelter in tournament restaurants and bars.
Among the players mentioning Washington’s weather conditions and how he had been impacted, Kyrgios told reporters that he was “tired,” adding: “This week has been difficult with rain and with just late matches, drug testing, everything. So it’s been really tough to just get a good sleep.”
During the tournament, the Australian defeated four Americans, including local talent, Frances Tiafoe, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (12), 6-2 in the quarterfinals. The match was even heralded as a “thriller.”
Following the match, Kyrgios told reporters that “Frances put himself in every position to win the match. You know, in those moments I wasn’t really thinking too much. I was just trying to stay in the match and I survived.”
Kyrgios also defeated Reilly Opelka, which was played on two different days due to a rain delay. Kyrgios proved better both times by winning 7-6(1) 6-2. He also defeated Tommy Paul, 25, 6-3 6-4 and Marcos Giron,29, 6-2, 6-3.
The Australian said earlier this week that his ranking has never reflected his game. His ATP ranking is 63.
Kyrgios demonstrated his ability to ride the momentum from his outstanding performance at the 2022 Wimbledon where the Australian lost in the final to Novak Djokovic. It was also his first at a grand slam final.
Kyrgios not only represents energy and exuberance, but he was also the most famous player at the 2022 Citi Open. Throughout the tournament, he exhibited positive energy as the momentum clearly continues to be on Kyrgios’ side ahead of the upcoming U.S. Open.
Only a few months ago, Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova feared that she wouldn’t be able to obtain a U.S. visa for the Citi Open. On Sunday, Samsonova, 23, won the tournament after defeating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 37, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Unlike the United Kingdom, which barred all Russian athletes from participating in the 2022 Wimbledon over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States is allowing them to compete.
During the Samsonova-Kanepi match, the Estonian initially had the upper hand and won the first set. Samsonova, however, slowly but gradually turned the game around and displayed in the process great artistry and grace.
In a post-match press conference, Samsonova described her match against Kanepi as the “hardest” of the tournament. The Russian had initially struggled to return Kanepi’s serves, describing the match as “a tough mental game.” It was the second meeting between the two, with Samsonova defeating the Estonian both times.
Commenting on her ability to compete in the U.S. after having been barred from Wimbledon, Samsonova described her victory as “amazing,” adding that she didn’t expect to win it.
“It’s like a dream because I was practicing for a month. I had some troubles off court,” she said, adding that she had to change her team, which wasn’t an easy decision. “I was unable to play Wimbledon, which was tough for me…I’m so happy about this week…it’s unbelievable.”
Samsonova, whose WTA ranking is 66, defeated Emma Raducanu, 19, in an upset at 7-6 (6), 6-1, in the quarterfinals. Raducanu’s WTA ranking is 10. At Citi, Samsonova defeated China’s Xiyu Wang, 21, 6-1, 6-1, and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović, 4-6 6-3 6-2. In the first round, Samsonova, defeated Beligum’s Elise Mertens, 7-6 6-4.
After being barred from Wimbledon, Samsonova described her victory at the 2022 Citi Open as amazing
The annual Citi Open has become part of Washington’s identity as it draws people from all walks of life. On Sunday, Citi Open Chairman Mark Ein told reporters that “we have an amazing tennis community in Washington. We have a long history. This event has been here 53 years since Donald Dell and John Harris and Arthur Ashe started it.”
Ein attributed the tournament’s success to its multi-stakeholders, starting with the fans.
“Thursday was our 20th consecutive sold-out session, dating back to 2019. There were a few tickets on Friday and a few on Saturday, but basically the event… probably sold 81,500 out of 82,500 tickets,” the chairman said.