Kafelnikov cruises in tuneup for US Open

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With the RCA Championships in Indianapolis sandwiched between the Masters Series-Cincinnati and the U.S. Open, Yevgeny Kafelnikov needed a break.

With the RCA Championships in Indianapolis sandwiched between the Masters Series-Cincinnati and the U.S. Open, Yevgeny Kafelnikov needed a break.

Rather than skip the RCAs, however, the Russian hoped for an easy match in his opener, which is followed by an off day.

The tournament's second seed got his wish.

Kafelnikov needed just 42 minutes on Tuesday to beat Sweden's Mikael Tillstrom in hot, humid weather at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.

"That probably was the best thing that could happen to me in the beginning of the tournament, to have such an easy match. Just couldn't be any better," said Kafelnikov, who broke Tillstrom four times while saving all three of the break points he faced.

"The key was in the beginning, once I held that first game when he had three break points," Kafelnikov said. "I felt it could have been that easy if I would maintain focus for a little while, and that's what I basically did."

That accomplished, Kavelnikov's thoughts turned to the U.S. Open.

"I would like to win the tournament, and that's always been my goal," he said. "At the moment, I feel like in seven or eight days, I can be ready before the U.S. Open."

Other seeded players who advanced were No. 7 Tim Henman of Great Britain, No. 10 Wayne Ferreira of South Africa and No. 13 Karim Alami of Morocco.

Henman, the runner-up at Cincinnati on Sunday, stopped Alberto Martin of Spain 6-4, 6-3.

Ferreira ousted Arnaud DiPasquale of France 6-4, 6-2, while Alami defeated Cyril Saulnier of France 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Eighth-seeded Marcelo Rios retired with a recurring groin injury.

Rios, the highest seeded player eliminated so far from the dlrs 870,000 ATP Tour hard-court tournament, lost the first set to Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-4 and was unable to continue their second-round match.

Rios, who had reached the tournament's third round each of the past three years, said the injury affected him from the start.

"Some days I start hurting a little bit, and some days not," Rios, of Chile, said. "Today was a day that it's tough to move, and it's tough to come back. Every time I'm like going side to side, it's tough to run."

Malisse, who had to qualify into the tournament, was surprised by Rios' withdrawal.

"I wasn't really looking at him, just concentrating on my own game," Malisse said. "I could see at the last game how he kind of went for his shots and didn't move too good. I had no idea until he said it."

Vince Spadea, the tournament runner-up last year, lost to Vladimir Roltchkov.

The unseeded Spadea, who lost to Nicolas Lapentti in the finals last year, was beaten 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Voltchkov. The player from Belarus received a wild-card invitation to Indianapolis after he reached the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Voltchkov's win was his first on the ATP Tour in the United States.

"I looked at him (Spadea), and he looked tired," Voltchkov said. "So I thought, 'OK. It's difficult, but he's having tough times as well, so just hang in there and then concentrate on the most important points."'

Results from the $870,000 RCA Championships ATP Tour hard-court tournament:

Singles - First Round

Taylor Dent, United States, def. Francisco Clavet, Spain, 6-3, 6-4. Jiri Novak (16), Czech Republic, def. Gaston Etlis, Argentina, 6-3, 6-2. Wayne Ferreira (10), South Africa, def. Arnaud Di Pasquale, France, 6-4, 6-2. Vladimir Voltchkov, Belarus, def. Vince Spadea, United States, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Lionel Roux, France, def. Sjeng Schalken, Netherlands, 6-3, 6-2. Sebastien Lareau, Canada, def. Mark Knowles, Bahamas, 6-4, 7-5. Nicolas Massu, Chile, def. Arnaud Clement, France, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3. Karim Alami (13), Morocco, def. Cyril Saulnier, France, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Michel Kratochvil, Switzerland, def. Phillip King, United States, 6-4, 7-5. James Sekulov, Australia, def. Roger Federer, Switzerland, 6-4, 7-5. Todd Woodbridge, Australia, def. Jan Siemerink, Netherlands, 6-3, 6-1. Sebastien Lareau, Canada, def. Mark Knowles, Bahamas, 6-4, 7-5.

Second Round

Xavier Malisse, Belgium, def. Marcelo Rios (8), Chile, 6-4, retired. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (2), Russia, def. Mikael Tillstrom, Sweden, 6-2, 6-1. Tim Henman, Britain (7), def. Alberto Martin, Spain, 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles - First Round

Massimo Bertolini and Cristian Brandi, Italy, def. Albert Costa, Spain, and Marat Safin, Russia, 6-4, 6-4. Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett (7), Zimbabwe, def. James Blake and Taylor Dent, United States, 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-2. Jonas Bjorkman, Sweden, and Max Mirinyi, Belarus, def. Todd Martin and Nathan Overholser, United States, 6-4, 6-7 (5) 6-3. Jonathan Stark and Eric Taino, United States, def. Paul Kilderry and Peter Tramacchi, Australia, 6-4, 6-4. Nicolas Coutelot, France, and Andy Ram, Israel, def. Gaston Etlis, Argentina, and Jack Waite, United States, 6-2, 7-5. Gustavo Kuerten, Brazil, and Harel Levy, Israel, def. Jonathan Erlich and Lior Mor, Israel, 6-2, 6-2. Goran Ivanisevic, Croatia, and Mikael Tillstrom, Sweden, def. Patrick Galbraith, United States, and Jan Siemerink, Netherlands, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

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