Beefed by a flurry of late entries, the Lawrence Open tennis tournament gets under way tonight at Alvamar.
Only a limited schedule is on tap for this evening however the first round of men's open singles.
At one point, tournament director Jill McGrew said she wasn't sure there would be enough entries to warrant starting the tournament before Saturday.
Only a dozen men's open entries had been received by Wednesday morning. But that number had ballooned to 22 by Thursday afternoon.
``We always have a lot of late entries,'' McGrew noted. ``People like to wait until the last minute.''
Men's open play begins at 6 tonight at Alvamar. Action in the other divisions will get under way at 8 a.m. Saturday at both Alvamar and the Lawrence Tennis Center.
FINALS WILL take place Sunday. Some semifinals may be held on Sunday as well, depending on how far play in the tournament advances on Saturday.
Rod Vaught of Springfield, Mo., returns to defend his men's open singles crown. It's no surprise, then, that Vaught has been awarded the top seeding.
Debbie Dumas of Columbia, Mo., is the No. 1 seed in the women's open singles division.
Officials received eight entries for women's singles not a large number, but better than last year when the division wasn't contested.
``There were no women signed up last year,'' McGrew recalled about the open singles. ``So that'll be interesting.''
Vaught and Dumas gained top seedings in doubles as well as singles. Vaught and Chris Gillis make up the No. 1-seeded men's doubles team, and Dumas and Jodie Robinson combine to form the top seed in women's doubles.
DEFENDING CHAMPION Mike McGrew is the top seed in men's A singles, one step down from the open event. And Barb Duchardt is seeded first in women's A singles.
Competition will also be held in mixed doubles and men's 35, 45 and 55 singles.