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BY TIM REYNOLDS <br />Special to The Herald

The event is still more than three months away, but already officials at the Ericsson Open are busy attempting to fill the nearly 1,500 volunteer positions needed to make the tournament run smoothly.

This year's tournament starts with qualifying rounds March 18 and 19, followed by the main men's and women's draw at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. About 1,000 volunteers and 400 ballboys and ballgirls need to be hired for the event, said volunteer director Tracy Knight.

Many of the volunteers return from one year to the next, Knight said, but she estimated she will need 250 new volunteers and 100 new ballboys and ballgirls for the 2002 event.

``We're having a tough time finding ballkids this year,'' Knight said. ``Maybe they're just waiting a little longer.''

To volunteer, call 305-365-3178 or download the application form from<br /><a href="http://www.ericsson-open.com." target="_blank">www.ericsson-open.com.</a> Ballboys and ballgirls must be 14 by March 18.
 

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I had thought it but decided since I live 4 hours away that I will just go and enjoy the weekend matches!!
 

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I'd love to go but it is a bit far <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> .

It is surprising they can't find enough volunteers. I would have thought all the kiddies would jump on the opportunity.
 
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