Qualifying begins today for the Washington Star International Tennis Championships at the Washington Tennis Stadium, 10th and kennedy Streets, N. W.
For the 10th consecutive year, world class professionals and amateurs are competing for the largest purse in the history of the tournament, $175,000.
Qualifying pairings will not be determined until late this morning. Among these attempting to qualify is Larry Gottfried, brother of Brian Gottfried, seeded second in the tour.
Larry Gottfried, 20, is a member of the Junior Davis Cup team and in 1976 was ranked first in boy's 18 singles. Fellow teammate entered in the qualifying rounds include Tony Graham, Erie Iskersky, Chris Mayotte, Gary Flock, John Sadri, Cary Stansbury and Robert Van't Hot.
A total of 64 players will go after the $24,000 top prize in men's singles and two players will split $9,000 for the top prize in doubles. The purse has been increased by $30,000 from last year.
Featured professionals in the eight day, clay court championships are Jimmy Connors, Brian Gottfried, Eddie Dibbs, Manuel Orantes, Raul Ramires, Arthur Ashe and Harold Solomon.
Qualifying rounds begin today at 11 a.m. and continue tomorrow with 32 competing for eight open spots.
First-round singles competition begins Monday, with sessions at noon and 7 p.m. The semifinals will be next Saturday and finals Sunday.
Tickets are available for the opening rounds and semifinals, Sunday's final is sold out.
Connors is ranked first in the world and seeded first in this tournament. He won the Star Tournament in 1976 over Ramires and sat oout last year's tournament because of a sore thumb. In 1973 Ashe won the tourney's top prize and is the only player to have entered in all nine previous tournaments.
The only other past champions entered this year is 1971 winner, Ken Rosewall. The 44-year-old Australian has won practically every major tennis title except Wimbleton.
Gottfried and Dibbs are seeded second and third, respectively.
The Tennis Stadium has been enlarged. The original stadium seated only 1,000, the present 5,700 seats. In addition to the new seats, a new club-house, press facilities, and showers have been added.
Tickets for the tournament range in price from $3 for the opening rounds to $10 for the later rounds.