Legg Mason Will Feature Men and Women
Tuesday, May 31, 2005; D02
The Legg Mason Tennis Classic, the professional men's tournament held annually at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Northwest Washington, finalized plans this weekend to add a women's tournament.
The women's event, a USTA Pro Circuit $75,000 women's tournament, will be held at the same time as the men's tournament -- July 30 through Aug. 7 this year -- combining the men's and women's tours in Washington for the first time.
"Throughout the years, we have prided ourselves on meeting consumer demand and enhancing the overall tournament experience," tournament chairman and co-founder Donald Dell said. "Adding a women's tournament to a top-flight men's tournament that has existed for 37 years is in direct response to demand from spectators, sponsors and media for a women's event in D.C."
Women's events on the USTA Pro Circuit consist of $10,000, $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000 tournaments, all of which feature 32 players in the main singles draw and 16 teams competing in doubles. The caliber of play at $75,000 tournaments, like the one to be held in Washington, approaches that of the Women's Tennis Association Tour, with women ranked as high as No. 40 competing.
There will not be separate tickets for the women's event. A ticket to this year's Legg Mason Tennis Classic will provide access to both the men's and women's tournaments.
Five-time champion Andre Agassi , 2001 champion Andy Roddick and 2002 champion James Blake already have committed to this year's men's tournament, a 48-player singles draw.
No players have committed to the women's tournament.
-- Jake Schaller
© 2005 The Washington Post Company