Gene Mayer, the top seed in the $200,000 D.C. National Bank Classic, has withdrawn from the tournament because he wants to rest his right wrist. Mayer, the eighth-ranked player in the world, has been suffering from tendinitis.
"I'm disappointed," said tournament cochairman John Harris. "But I don't think it will make or break the tournament. We lost Jimmy Connors in 1977 because he broke his little finger and we still had a great tournament. We've never had a down year and we will present a very good field out there."
Mayer will also skip next week's Volvo Grand Prix tournament in North Conway, N.H., according to agent David Falk of ProServ. Jose-Luis Clerc, the 10th-ranked player in the world, is now seeded No. 1.
The D.C. tournament's qualifying rounds will begin today at Rock Creek Stadium at 16th and Kennedy Streets NW.
Some construction work is being done on 16th Street, but project officials say the work should pose no major problems for the public.
For north-bound vehicles, there had been a "no left turn" sign at 16th and Kennedy, but that was removed, according to Said Cherif, an inspector on the project. "We don't expect any problems at that intersection, like we thought." Traffic will be able to turn west onto both Kennedy and Colorado from either direction on 16th.
In addition, there will be traffic policemen at both intersections on July 22, 23 and 24 from 4:30 to 8:30 and on July 25 from 6:30 to 8:30.
Qualifying rounds, which will start at 10:30 today and noon Sunday, will consist of seven eight-man draws, with the winner of each draw gaining the main, 56-man draw. Tickets are $4 for both days.
There are three routes to Rock Creek Tennis Stadium:
* From downtown, take 16th Street north to Kennedy and turn left.
* From the beltway, take Colesville Road south to 16th Street and turn left. Follow 16th Street to Kennedy and turn right.
* From Rock Creek Park, take Beach Drive north (cross Tilden), to Blagden and turn right. Follow Blagden to 16th Street and turn left. Follow 16th Street to Kennedy Street and turn left.