The first-round match between local favorite Harold Solomon and new tennis sensation John McEnroe is exrected to highlight early play of the $125,000 Washington Star International Tennis Championships beginning Monday at the 16th and Kennedy Streets NW courts.
The opening-day schedule will be announced today, but it is expected that the Solomon-McEnroe match will take place Tuesday or Wednesday. Both players are competing elsewhere this weekend.
The draw was announced Friday night at a party at the Silver Spring Holiday Inn. Radio and television personalities, tennis fans and officials were invited to determine the matchups by reaching into a box that contained the numbers of the 56 players in the draw.
The remaining eight spots in the 64-man tournament will go to players qualifying yesterday and today.
The pairing of McEnroe and Solomon of Silver Spring came about halfway through the event and was greeted with cheers. McEnroe, 18 surprised the tennis world by reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon before being eliminated by Jimmy Connors.
Tournament codirector John Harris acknowledged that it is by far the most interesting draw in the first round.
"It is very obvious that we have one match that stands out," Harris said. "We're going to hate to lose one of those two players."
Harris conceded that the top half of the draw contains more players who perform well on clay. Included in that half are No. 1 seed Guillermo Vilas vs. the No. 6 qualifier: No. 3 seed Raul Ramirez vs. Brian Teacher, and No. 8 seed Arthur Ashe against Paul Kronk.
Five other seeded players are in this half of the draw along with Matt Mitchell, the 1977 NCAA champion from Stanford, Billy Martin, former NCAA champ and 1975 Star semi-finalist, and Tom Gullikson a regular on the tour.
Reviewing the draw. Harris cited a number of matches that should enliven the first round: Ashe and Kronk. Terry Moor and Fred McNair of Chevy Chase. Pecci and Gullikson and Ramirez and Teacher.
The tournament never has been won twice by the same player, but a number of past champions will be trying to put an end to that tradition.
Connors is the defending champion, and seemed likely to have been seeded No. 1 until a thumb injury forced him out of the event.
Other former champions include Vilas (1975). Solomon (1974), Ashe (1973) and Cliff Richey (1970).
In addition to Connors, four players have withdrawn because of injuries. They are Jim Delaney, Sashi Mennan, Peter Flemming and Bill Scanlon.
Tickets are available at all Ticketron outlets or at the gate. Tickets begin at $3 and $4 for the first days of competition and increase to $8 and $9 for the final rounds. A student price also is available.