While professional tennis players battled it out in suburban London for racket supremacy, the world’s best volleyball players will be hitting the sand hard this weekend to be immortalized several feet above the calm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

July 16 through 19, the AVP makes its annual stop in Manhattan Beach, where some of the greatest legends of beach volleyball have staked their claim. Known as the “Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball,” the four-day Manhattan Beach Open will feature two 64-team brackets, including single elimination qualifier bracket (one for each gender) and a main draw double elimination bracket.

Also known as the “granddaddy” event, this year’s event will feature some of the usual big names of beach volleyball, including Phil Dalhausser, Todd Rogers, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings.

In the men’s bracket, Ty Loomis and Casey Peterson will try to win consecutive tournaments. The duo is fresh off an upset victory over top seeds John Hyden and Sean Scott at last week’s Coney Island Open in New York. Hyden-Scott and Dalhausser-Rogers will be gunning for the top spot at AVP’s flagship event this week.

On the women’s side, Carrie Dodd and Dianne DeNecochea won their first title of 2009 at the Coney Island Open and hope to repeat their success in Manhattan Beach.

The third of four stops in metro Los Angeles, the Manhattan Beach Tour will start its qualifier competition on July 16 on the south side of the pier, followed by the main draw competition on July 17. The main event will be on July 19, with the first championship match starting at 2:30 p.m.

Doors open as early as 7:00 a.m. For more information, visit avp.com.