The youngest of a young 32-woman field open play at George Washington's Smith Center this morning in the $125,000 Avon Championships of Washington, which will last six days.

Top-seeded Martina Navratilova plays he first match Tuesday evening against Lea Antonopolis and second-seeded Tracy Austin starts Wednesday against 21-year-old Barbara Hallquist.

Pam Shriver of Lutherville, Md., seeded seventh after becoming the youngest finalist in the history of the U.S. Open, has her first match Tuesday evening against veteran soft-server Francoise Durr.

This morning's matches begin at 10 with Vivian Gonzales of Argentina taking on Maureen (Peanut) Louie of San Francisco.

The second shift begins at 5 p.m., with Renee Richards facing sixth-seeded Virginia Tuzici of Romania in the second match.

That will be followed by fourth seeded Virginia Ruzici of Romania in JoAnne Russell.

This will be the first in a series of tournaments formerly sponsored by Virginia Slims, and will be passed up by Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade.Twenty of the 30 players accepted directly into the draw are 23 years old or younger.

After Washington, the Avon tour makes 10 more stops in its $1.9 million journey, culminating in a $275,000 playoff in New York's Madison Square Garden in March.

Shriver and Austin are stealing headlines from Evert and Navratilova as the women's tennis world waits uneasily for new faces to light up the cash registers.

Shriver, who has yet to beat Austin in junior tournaments, will play the 10th-grader a 10th time in Friday's quarterfinals if things go according to plan.