Pre-Qualifying Tournaments Slated at Eight Sites Throughout Southland for 78th Annual Mercedes-Benz Cup Presented by Countrywide

April 30, 2004 11:09 AM

Ultimate goal is berth in main draw, July 12-18, at UCLA

LOS ANGELES – For the fourth year in a row, the Mercedes-Benz Cup presented by Countrywide is conducting “open” community pre-qualifying tournaments at eight sites in six counties throughout Southern California through June 23. The ultimate goal is a berth in the Mercedes-Benz Cup, July 12-18, at UCLA. Some 400 players are expected to participate.

The schedule for the pre-qualifying tournaments is as follows:

  • April 15-18 – Pacific Palms Tennis Center, City of Industry (incomplete due to rain. Date for completion has not been set)
  • May 1-2, 8-9 – Costa Mesa Tennis Center
  • May 28-31 – Avila Bay Classic, Avila Beach
  • May 31-June 4 – Cal State Los Angeles
  • June 4-6 – Oxnard Tennis Center
  • June 5-6, 12-13 – Fallbrook Tennis Championships, Fallbrook Tennis Club
  • June 12-18 – Kern County Singles Championships, Bakersfield Racquet Club
  • June 21-23 – Cal State Northridge

For tournament information or an entry form, please call Annette Buck, circuit director, at 310-208-3838, ext. 224.

The two singles finalists and the winning doubles team from each pre-qualifying event advance to the Wild Card Tournament June 24-27 at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. The winner of the Wild Card singles event earns a berth in the Mercedes-Benz Cup qualifying, July 10-11, at the Sunset Canyon Courts at UCLA. Ultimately, four players from the singles qualifier advance into the main draw of the Mercedes-Benz Cup.

Lester Cook of Sherman Oaks was the lone survivor in a field of 400 who entered the 2003 pre-qualifier. The pre-qualifying doubles event was won by Mark Ellis of Ventura and Peter Jeschke of Santa Barbara.

The Mercedes-Benz Cup features a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles competition to be played at the Straus Stadium of the Los Angeles Tennis Center-UCLA. The landmark Southern California tournament is an International Series event on the worldwide ATP men’s professional circuit and offers total player compensation in excess of $1 million.

The Mercedes-Benz Cup marks the first men’s event in the new US Open Series, a historic breakthrough for the sport that links 10 summer hard-court tournaments to the US Open, creating a cohesive, six-week summer tennis season for ATP and WTA Tour professional tournaments in North America.

Previous winners of the Mercedes-Benz Cup, whose history dates to 1927, include Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Stich, Boris Becker, Richard Krajicek, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Arthur Ashe, Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Gonzalez, Jack Kramer, Don Budge, Ellsworth Vines and Bill Tilden.

Proceeds from the Mercedes-Benz Cup, held in conjunction with UCLA, benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors.

Season tickets for the 2003 tournament are on sale now at the Mercedes-Benz Cup tournament office on the UCLA campus. For information, please call 310-824-1010 or toll free at 877 / LA TENNIS.