On what seemed like a dog day afternoon, the clay was kicked up, the tennis whites became wet with sweat, and the qualifying rounds began for the D.C. National Bank Tennis Classic at Rock Creek Stadium.

On the court yesterday, two old (for championship tennis) men, 31-year-old Terry Moor and 30-year-old Jim Delaney, hustled after balls.

"It's rough," said Moor. "It's 97, I think, and if you win you play the same day," he said minutes after beating Delaney, 6-3, 6-3.

The 56-man qualifying round began at 10:30 a.m., with seven draws of eight players each, the winners having to play twice; the losers take a walk.

Moor, who was once ranked 38th in the world, has slipped to 114th. He is beginning to rethink his career. "I'm trying to get into the fundraising business in Memphis. Eventually, I hope to curtail tennis to 10-12 tournaments a year," he said.

While Moor remembered, John McCurdy, 23, talked of the future. McCurdy, the No. 1 seed in the qualifying round, had made the round of 16 at Wimbledon this year, beating Claudio Panatta among others, before losing to Tim Mayotte. "I wasn't nervous at all," he said. "I had played there before."

McCurdy started playing at age 10. He thought he could probably do better than social tennis. "You've got to be born with a certain amount of ability or I wouldn't be playing tennis. I'd probably work in a bank."

At least bankers don't have to sweat as much as McCurdy during his 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 win over Juan Farrow in his first qualifying match.