Professional tennis returns to L.A. with the L.A. Tennis Open starting this Monday at the UCLA tennis center. Last year I was able to watch the men’s final with Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Porto.
This year, neither of those players will be in the field. That leaves Tommy Haas and So Cal native Mardy Fish as the top 1 and 2 seeds respectively.
The fact that this year’s tournament has failed to attract a top ten player speaks a lot about the difficulties Tier II and III events have in getting players to show up. The grueling schedule is part of it. But having an event in the second largest U.S. city without “name” players is a bit of let-down. I’m sure the event organizers do all they can, but with the summer season dominated by east coast events, it’s hard to blame players for not wanting to travel so much before the Open.
Now there will also be Legends play with Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier and Michael Chang mixing it up in the early days of the tourney. Feels like 1992 all over again, huh? Also, Marat Safin, who is playing in the main draw, will also be in the Legends event too. I guess since this is Safin’s last full year on the main tour, he is testing the Legend waters to see if if it’s a good fit for him.
Since the event is so close to me, I may end up going to a few rounds. Here is a link to the official website.