With 32 players vying for four spots during a marathon three-day qualifying period, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic will get started today at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Northwest.
Those players might get a chance to face one of the tournament's biggest names -- Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt or James Blake -- if they emerge with a spot in the main draw.
Trevor Spracklin, winner of the Legg Mason Wild Card Challenge in late June, earned a wild-card slot into the qualifying, where he'll join competitors such as Treat Huey, runner-up in the USTA boys' 18 National Clay Court Championships, and Spencer Vegosen, winner of the boys' 16s version of the same tournament. Huey, of Alexandria, has been ranked No. 1 in the country in boys' 18s.
Today's 16 matches, starting at 9 a.m., mark the greatest number of any day of the tournament. Qualifying begins at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
In previous years, Legg Mason qualifying has taken two days. This year, the final round, whose winners will move into the 32-player main draw, will be Monday.
The ATP requested the change, wanting players to avoid multiple matches in a day in the August heat.
-- Amalie Benjamin