LOS ANGELES (AP) _ American Paul Goldstein beat France's Cyril Saulnier 6-4, 6-4 Monday to advance to the second round of the Mercedes-Benz Cup.
Goldstein, who was contemplating retirement a year ago, eliminated Saulnier, who last year was a semifinalist in the 32-player event at UCLA.
In the other first-round matches, Kevin Kim rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to beat Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (3), 6-4; Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan beat sixth-seeded Mario Ancic 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 6-2; left-hander Ricardo Mello stopped seventh-seeded Sebastien Grosjean 1-6, 6-2, 6-3; and Juan Ignacio Chela was a 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4 winner over Marcos Baghdatis.
Goldstein won for the 10th time in 17 ATP Tour matches this year. He spent most of his time last year on the minor league Challenger Circuit.
In the last two months, the Stanford graduate has reached the semifinals at Newport, R.I., the quarterfinals at Indianapolis and at least the semifinals in three Challenger events. He started the year ranked above 200. This week he is No. 70, one spot shy of the career best he reached five years ago.