Something new has been added to the Los Angeles Open, the professional tennis tournament played annually at UCLA. It begins July 27 and continues until August 2.
In addition to the tournament field, 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras will play an exhibition match and three matches in a Legends Tour will be contested.
On the tournament’s first day, Monday July 27, Sampras will play Marat Safrin at 7:30. Nine years ago Safrin defeated Sampras in the US Open final.
The Legends Tour matches will begin Wednesday afternoon when Jim Courier opposes Stefan Edberg. On Thursday night Edberg will play Michael Chang and on Saturday night Chang will face Courier.
The Legends matches will be televised by ESPN 2 and the Tennis Channel.
In the regular field, Tommy Haas will try for his third Los Angeles championship and the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, will attempt to win the doubles title for the fifth time. Safrin is also entered.
The tournament, under different names and at different venues, has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running professional sports event in Los Angeles. Through the years the driving forces have been Jack and Bob Kramer.
The tournament has had various sponsors. This year the sponsor is Farmers Insurance.
Ever since the LA Tennis Center was built at UCLA in time for the 1984 Olympic Games the tournament has been played there.
Annually a former champion is designated the tournament honoree. This year it will be Sampras.