Tournament officials for the Sovran Bank Classic yesterday confirmed the entry of John McEnroe, who sought and received a wild-card berth after losing in the first round at Wimbledon two weeks ago.
The announcement came one day after Jimmy Connors withdrew from the $550,000 event for the second consecutive year.
McEnroe, 31, who also withdrew from the Sovran tournament last year, went into Wimbledon having played only one tournament since February; he lost in straight sets to unseeded Derrick Rostagno.
"John decided last week at Wimbledon that Washington would be an important start to a summer of pre-U.S. Open championship tournaments," tournament director Josh Ripple said.
In 1978, McEnroe's only Washington appearance, the three-time Wimbledon and four-time U.S. Open champion was beaten in the third round. At that time, however, McEnroe had yet to win a professional tournament.
At the Australian Open in January, McEnroe was defaulted for verbal abuse in his fourth-round match against Sweden's Mikael Pernfors and was fined $6,500. Should McEnroe accumulate another $1,000 in penalties, he will be suspended from playing in the U.S. Open, which begins the last week in August.
The Sovran field includes Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, defending champion Tim Mayotte and two-time finalist Brad Gilbert. If healthy, seventh-ranked Aaron Krickstein also will compete in the event, July 16-22 at FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th and Kennedy streets NW.