Today's conclusion could mark the final appearance indoors of the Virginia Slims of Washington, if the Women's International Pro Tennis Council allows the tournament operator's request to move it outdoors and play it in September 1989.

Henry Brehm, tournament director and senior vice president of ProServ, which runs the event, said yesterday he is hopeful that scheduling conflicts can be worked out so the women's tournament can be played at the soon-to-be constructed Washington Tennis Center at 16th and Kennedy streets NW.

ProServ and Virginia Slims wanted to hold the tournament the week before or the week after the the men's Sovran Bank Classic -- scheduled for late July -- to have two consecutive weeks of outdoor tennis every summer.

But other tournaments did not want to give up those dates, forcing the Virginia Slims of Washington to look for another date. The women's tournament would still have a 32-player field, still award $300,000 in prize money, and guarantee that one of the top two players in the world would play here.

"We first investigated the possibility of having a two-week tournament, but the schedule would prohibit that," Brehm said between yesterday's semifinal matches.

This is the second time the Slims of Washington has been played at George Mason University's Patriot Center, after being forced to leave George Washington University's Smith Center because of its tobacco firm sponsorship. And although attendance has been high enough (just more than 5,000 for each of the evening sessions Monday through Thursday, nearly 7,000 last night) for the current tournament to be in the black, it did not attract television or a corporate sponsor.

Also, approximately half the box seat holders from when the event was held downtown at Smith Center canceled their seats when the tournament moved to Fairfax.

"The tournament could prosper here, too," Brehm said. "But this is like starting all over. It would just take time."

Patriot Center might not get that time. Brehm said Philip Morris Tobacco Co., maker of Virginia Slims cigarettes, "has been very responsive, but they want it outdoors."

Brehm said he hopes to know by mid-March whether the WIPTC is going to say yes to the September move.

"It would really be a happening if it was outdoors," he said.

"Also, don't we want to utilize the thing {the Tennis Center} we're raising millions of dollars to build?"

The possible down sides of a move outdoors and to September is that the Slims of Washington wouldn't be played for 19 months, could lose some European players, and would be right after the U.S. Open when many top players take time off from the tour. This year, six of the top 10 players in the world were in the field, four of the top six.

Pam Whytcross, tour director of the Women's International Tennis Association, said the players have had no complaints about Patriot Center.

"As a matter of fact, this time of year has been kind of enjoyable," she said. "But I understand the attraction of what they would like to do."

The tournament officials feel they would have little or no problem filling the 7,500-seat Tennis Center.