Russian Korolev makes field at Tennis Channel Open

Updated: February 25, 2007, 8:10 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Evgeny Korolev of Russia entered the round-robin field at the Tennis Channel Open when he defeated Amer Delic of Jacksonville, Fla., 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the first men's singles main draw elimination match Sunday.

The 19-year-old Korolev will play a round-robin match on Monday against 18-year-old Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina, who is the youngest entrant at the open.

Monday's other round-robin matches pit Julien Benneteau of France against Paul Goldstein of San Francisco and Fernando Verdasco of Spain vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu of France.

The seven other elimination matches also will be on Monday.

The eight elimination winners get added to the 24-player field, which includes 16 seeded players.

Among the elimination players are three-time French Open champ Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil and former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden.

Top seed and defending event champion James Blake of Tampa, Fla., who is ranked No. 6 in the Association of Tennis Professionals world rankings, will start play Tuesday against the loser of the Korolev vs. Del Potro match.

In addition to Blake, the top three seeds are No. 2 Lleyton Hewitt (ranked 20th by the ATP) of Australia and No. 3 Marat Safin (24th) of Russia.

Robby Ginepri of Kennesaw, Ga., the No. 9 seed, withdrew from the tournament late Saturday for personal reasons. Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic will replace Ginepri in the fourth round-robin group.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press