Jimmy Connors withdrew yesterday from this month's Sovran Bank Classic in Rock Creek Park, but tournament officials were hopeful of replacing him with John McEnroe.

Connors, a three-time Washington champion, cited a wrist injury. With a win the 37-year-old could become tennis's first three-decade titlist since the open era began in 1968, but he has played only one match this year after injuring his wrist in February and has slipped to No. 63 in the rankings.

Connors also plans to skip tournaments in Toronto and Gstaad, Switzerland.

"It's a disappointment to lose him for this tournament because we have perhaps our best field ever, and Jimmy has always been a Washington favorite," tournament director Josh Ripple said.

According to Ripple, McEnroe has applied for a wild-card berth and been accepted. All that's needed is confirmation from McEnroe that he'll play.

"We're hopeful that he'll confirm" today, Ripple said.

McEnroe has played in just two tournaments since February -- including last week's first-round loss at Wimbledon -- and, after a $6,500 fine and disqualification at the Australian Open in January, is $1,000 in penalties short of being barred from the next Grand Slam event, next month's U.S. Open.

The Sovran field includes Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, defending champion Tim Mayotte and runner-up Brad Gilbert. Ripple said he also expects seventh-ranked Aaron Krickstein to play in the event, July 16-22 at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th and Kennedy streets, NW.