Your 2014 Citi Open primer, one number at a time. Main draw matches on the hardcourts at the FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park begin Monday.
1 - As in top seeds Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova on the ATP and WTA draws respectively. Ranked No. 5 on tour, the 6-foot-5 Berdych last played Washington in 2010. That year the Czech star was also the top seed, but didn't feel the tournament treated him as one and stated he may not return the next year. He didn't or the year after that or the year after that. Now Berdych is back and aims for his fourth finals appearance and second tournament win on tour this year.
Also from the Czech Republic, Safarova reached the Wimbledon semifinals this month, losing to eventual champion Petra Kvitova. The 27-year-old lefty ranks 17th on tour and has five career tour titles.
3 - As in the number of past Washington champions returning, including two-time defending women's champion Magdalena Rybarikova. Radek Stepanek, No. 11 seed this week, won the men's event in 2011 while Lleyton Hewitt (14) picked up the trophy in 2004.
8 - As in the number of men in the field ranked in the top 25 on tour including three of the top 10. Some may know Grigor Dimitrov as Maria Sharapova's boyfriend. The 23-year-old is making a name for himself on the court as well. Ranked ninth and the third seed this week, Dimitrov cracked the top 10 for the first time on tour this year. The 23-year-old lost in four sets to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals. Canadian Milos Raonic (7), the No. 2 seed behind Berdych, also reached the semis of the grass court major.
(UPDATE - Dimitrov withdrew from the event on Sunday night after being diagnosed with the flu and a sinus infection)
4 - As in Sloane Stephens' seed, the highest for an American in either draw. The charismatic 21-year-old remains a promising talent on tour and has posted some quality results this season, though nothing like reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open last year by defeating Serena Williams. Stephens, ranked No. 22, has yet to reach a WTA tournament final this year. That could explain why this week she broke off from Paul Annacone, her coach for the past eight months. Stephens looked shaky earlier this week in her lone appearance with the Washington Kastles this season.
14 – As in the number of times a player whose first name started with the letter “A” won the men's championship in 33 years. Random factoid for sure, helped in the past by multiple time winners Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick and most recently 2012 men's champion Alexandr Dolgopolov.
16 - As in the age of College Park native Francis Tiafoe, who will make his debut on the ATP Tour at the Citi Open. The No. 6 ranked junior in the world reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon this year. Tiafoe received a wild card entry into the Citi Open main draw. "I’m so excited to play in my first main draw ATP event and I can’t imagine a better place to play than in front of my hometown crowd,” Tiafoe said. “I’m so thankful to the Citi Open® for giving me this great opportunity.”
19 - As in the number of all-time matches won in Washington by marathon man John Isner, the No. 5 seed. The 6-foot-10 American has made several deep runs in this event starting with a stunning finals appearance in 2007. Last year Isner also reached the championship match, only to lose to Juan Martin del Potro. While the top ranked American has yet to hoist the singles trophy in Washington, he can win in Atlanta for the second straight year with a victory on Sunday over Israeli Dudi Sela, who is also expected in the Citi Open field.
25 - As in Del Potro's age. The hard-hitting Argentine will be at least 26 before he plays in Washington again. The men's defending champion only recently returned to the practice court after undergoing wrist surgery four months ago. Del Potro also triumphed on the Rock Creek courts in 2008 and 2009. Other absent include No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, who withdrew from the women's draw earlier this week.
98 -As in the number of career doubles titles won by the world No. 1 ranked team and top-seeded duo of Bob and Mike Bryan. Three of those championships came in Washington, but none since 2007.
500 - As in this being an ATP World Tour 500 Tournament, making the Citi Open of the top 20 men's tournaments in the world.
1970 - As in the year of the first D.C. Tournament. Agassi leads with five singles titles.