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JULY 26-AUG. 3

Here’s some advice for all you kids out there: If you want to be a professional tennis player, it’s too late for you to become a professional tennis player. By the time you have the free will to decide what you really want to do with that life of yours, you’ve either been forced by your psychotic dad to hit ground strokes for 10 hours a day or you haven’t. Even if you’re part of that rather large group of youngsters whose parents didn’t turn them into a human backboard, you shouldn’t feel too bad—I’m sure you’re a very well-rounded individual. Just don’t take that smug self-satisfaction too far and start pitying those poor V-necked idiot savants. Unlike, say, gymnasts, tennis prodigies don’t have stunted bodies and chipmunk voices. No, they’re filthy, filthy rich, and—if they’re 20-year-old wunderkind Andy Roddick—they date Mandy Moore. Roddick, champion of the 2001 Legg Mason Tennis Classic, hits the District fresh from the How to Deal set and a star turn at Wimbledon. A rematch between Roddick and Roger Federer (pictured), the 21-year-old Swiss who demolished Roddick in the Wimbledon semis en route to his first major championship, may not have the cachet of a duel at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, but it could be far more entertaining. While Federer must now be considered the best all-around tennis player in the world, Roddick is perhaps the tour’s most intimidating hard-court player. Lurking in the draw—should either player falter—are five-time Legg Mason champion and two-time Steffi Graf impregnator Andre Agassi, as well as the tournament’s defending champ, James Blake. Qualifying matches take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 26, and at 11 a.m. Sunday, July 27, $9-$20; Main Draw competition begins at 4 p.m. Monday, July 28 (see City List for details) at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th & Kennedy Sts. NW, $25-$70. (202) 432-7328. (Josh Levin)