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Russian Korolev makes field at Tennis Channel Open

2/25/2007 - Tennis

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.