MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti)
Sixth seed Denis Istomin came back from the brink of defeat to beat Germany's Bjorn Phau in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Monday.
Phau served for the match at one stage in the second set, but a resurgent Istomin broke his opponent and snatched the set before closing out the match in the third for a 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 win.
The second-round opponent for Uzbekistan's Istomin is world No. 84 Lukas Rosol, who scrape d a 7-6(9), 7-6(2) win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver earlier Monday.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.