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Press release #2
"Qualifiers" fall on Kafelnikov's lot
The St.Petersburg Open Draw ceremony took place in the Grand Hotel Europe. It was participated by Director of the Tournament Mikhail Rydnik and the two players of the Main Draw: Vladimir Voltchkov and Andrei Stoliarov. As the result, following Rydnik's casting, "qualifiers" fell on Safin's and Kafelnikov's (4) lot. Moreover, such a case happened to Kafelnikov in Saint Petersburg three times successively. Now he may play to Andre Agassi, for example, in the semifinal only and to Marat Safin - in the final.
News from Madrid where a tournament of Masters Series took place: Czech Jiri Novak, who is seeded to St.Petersburg Open with number 4 has groin injury and haven't played the final match to Andre Agassi. He can't come to St.Petersburg. Thus, the Main Draw of St.Petersburg Open has been changed. Novak is replaced by Andrei Pavel from Romania and, and free vacancy will be given to a "Lucky Loser" - the one who lost in qualifyings but has got the highest ranking. As to Agassi, now his gap to the leader of the Champions Race narrows to 43 points. So, if he becomes a champion in Saint Petersburg he will top the Champions Race.
Meanwhile, on St.Petersburg Open the qualifyings second round has finished. The result is that three more Russians of the remaining four have left the tournament. In the first set Denis Golovanov lost to Yugoslavian Janko Tipsarevic, and in the second set he whitewashed his rival. Besides that in the third decisive set Denis got nerves and at the score 2-4 practically stopped his defense. The young Evgeni Smirnov fought against Tuomas Ketola up to the final point, but on but on the second set tiebreak nerves of the experienced Finn appeared to be stronger.
As for the match between Gabashvili and Saulnier no fight happened - the Frenchman appeared to be stronger than the young Russian by a head.
At first Kirill Ivanov-Smolensky didn't succeed in the match to Austrian Julian Knowle. But then the Russian summoned his strength and rushed quite a shower of aces on his rival and improved the situation. He appeared to be stronger in the third decisive set. Tomorrow Kirill will fight for a place in the Main Draw with Tuomas Ketola.
Gilles Muller from Luxemburg had just created a mini-sensation when forced a number 1 player of qualifyings Georgian Irakli Labadze to play three sets and a tiebreak in the decisive set.
Irakli Labadze (GEO)- Gilles Muller (LUX) 3-6 7-5 7-6(2)
Tipsarevic Janko (YUG) - Denis Golovanov (RUS) 6-3 0-6 6-2
Ivanov-Smolensky Kirill (RUS) - Julian Knowle (AUT) 7-5 2-6 7-5
Kohlmann Michael (GER) -Sabau Razvan (ROM) 6-3 6-3
Saulnier Cyril (FRA) - Gabashvili Teimuraz 6- 2 6-2
Shvec Alexander (BLR) - Bruthans Viktor (SVK) 3-6 6-4 6-4
Friedl Leos (CZE) Cermak Frantisek (CZE) 6-3 1-6 6-3
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