Some of the world's best women singles tennis players will compete at the first Women's Tennis Association Citi Open tournament at the Tennis Center at College Park, beginning with qualifying rounds on Saturday.
What format is the tournament?
The format will be single elimination, consisting of 32 main draw singles players, 16 main draw doubles teams and 32 qualifying singles players, and totaling $400,000 in player compensation, according to a release from Pivot Point Communications, which is handling public relations for the tournament.
It's nine days long? When should I go?
That depends on whether you want to watch qualifying sessions, main draws, finals, or all of them. Qualifying rounds are Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings. Main draws will start at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are held Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, respectively.
If you're really excited to jump into the festivities, the tournament draw to determine who will play whom, takes place at noon today at Citibank, 2221 I St. NW Washington, D.C. The top-ranking player competing in the tournament, Shahar Peer of Israel, who is 24th in the world, will be at the tournament draw.
Bummer... I can't be at the tournament...
There are still several ways to keep up with the action. Follow @CitiOpen on Twitter, and "Like" Citi Open on Facebook. According to the president and lead strategist of Pivot Point Communications, a new website will soon replace the temporary one at www.citiopentennis.com, and updates from the tournament will be provided there. The tournament will be broadcast live nationally on the Tennis Channel during the semifinals and finals on July 30 and 31.
How can I get tickets?
Seating will be available for 2,500 spectators. Ticket prices range from $10 to $65 for single sessions, and ticket packages for all 10 sessions for grandstand reserved seats or stadium court start at $155. Check the website for more ticket information. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster or call 202-721-9500. Information on how many tickets are left was not immediately available.
Will traffic be a mess?
It seems no one is expecting much of a problem. The city's director of Public Services Bob Ryan said the tennis tournament is a relatively routine event in College Park and is expected to create minimal traffic control challenges.
Captain Marc Limansky of the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety said that the agency would monitor the traffic situation and will facilitate the flow of traffic on and near the campus as the need arises.
An attempt to reach the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for metro use expectations was not returned.
Where can I park?
An organizer at the Tennis Center, William Ellison said parking will be available behind the center at 5200 Paint Branch Parkway, and across from the College Park Metro station; overflow parking will be available at the , he said.
So why College Park?
Vanessa French, president and lead strategist for Pivot Point Communications, which is handling public relations for the tournament, said that the original plan was to have the event in Elkridge, Maryland. "They're planning to build a $30 to $40 million tennis and multi-sport facility there, and given the economic climate that was pushed back a year ... We wanted to keep it in Maryland, so the next best site was the Tennis Center at College Park, where the University of Maryland's teams play. There's a pretty big following over there with the USTA Regional Training Center," she said.