Arias annoyed he'll have to qualify for D.C.

July 11, 1992|By Ashley McGeachy | Ashley McGeachy,Staff Writer

For the 13th year in a row, Jimmy Arias will be playing in the NationsBank Classic in Washington. But, for the first time, he will have to work his way into the main draw through three qualifying matches, the first at 10 a.m. today.

"I'm really annoyed to say the least," said Arias, who has been in the final twice.

"I thought if ever there was a tournament that I was going to get into the main draw it would be Washington because the crowds always like me there. I've played there so many years in a row, and everybody knows me there."

Arias said he was hoping to receive one of the five wild cards into the tournament, the last of which was awarded yesterday to Brian McPhee, a sophomore at Southern Cal. Wimbledon champion Andre Agassi, Bjorn Borg, 1991 NCAA champion Alex O'Brien and 1992 NCAA champion Jarred Palmer received the other four wild cards.

"The decision hinged on what our field was like, and this year it is very strong," said Josh Ripple, the tournament director. "So, we decided to help some of the younger guys as opposed to helping Jimmy out. He's been a good friend to the tournament, and we've been good to him."

Arias injured his wrist eight months ago and had surgery on it four months later. Because of the injury, his ranking dropped from 51 to the low 200s.

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