Victor Pecci apparently fully recovered from the leg cramps that ended his bid for the championship in the $175,000 Washington Star International Tennis Tournament Sunday, will play Eric Iskersky in a first-round match in the Louisville Tennis Championships today.
The cramps, which came during a second-set tie breaker in the Star title match with Guillermo Vilas, ended a week filled with good tennis but marred by a number of unfortunate incidents, climaxed by Pecci's injury.
For Vilas it was a week of redemption, a week in which he showed flashes of the 1977 from that made him the No. 1 player in tennis. He swept through six matches in Washington, losing just one set, and won his third Star Championship.
For others it was a less than perfect week. Tournament codirectors John Harris and Donald Dell had to be disappointed that the top five players in the world chose to pass up the tournament.
Dell has had great success in the past attracting top players to Washington in spite of the midsummer heat and humidity. This year, however, for various reasons ranging from previous commitments to the clay surface in the Rock Creek Tennis Stadium, the best five bypassed Washington.
Even without the top three draws, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John Mcenroe, attendance was still good -- 70,000 for the week -- the same figure as a year ago. But that total is somewhat deceiving since there were four more programs this year because of newly lit grandstand courts.
The decision of Harris and Dell to change the time of the final -- from 7 p.m. to 2 p.m. -- in order to accomodate PBS television, certainly did not help Pecci, who wilted in the 95-degree heat.
Harris said tournament officials changed the starting time for the final because PBS did not want to tape the match so close to its 10 p.m. air time.
"Originally, PBS was going to televise the match live, so 7 p.m. was fine," said Harris. "But when they decided to tape, a match ending at 9:30 or so would have been tough to edit and feed for a 10 p.m. start."
Codirector Dell did color commentary on the PBS telecasts.
Yesterday, Harris defended the quality of the field. "I think we attracted the finest clay court players in the world," he said. "Vilas, Pecci, Eddie Dibbs, Jose Higueras, and Harold Solomon. I think the quality of this year's field was better perhaps than the fields we've had here in the past.
"The top five world-ranked players are all fine competitors and we'd love to have them here,"he added, "but I think these days the only time they're all going to be in one tournament is a Wimbledon and the U.S. Open."