MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti)
Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson knocked the last Russian out of the Kremlin Cup singles on Friday by beating Maria Kirilenko to reach the semifinals.
Arvidsson prevailed 6-3, 6-3 thanks to early breaks in both sets to book a semifinal with third seed Caroline Wozniacki, who ousted reigning champion Dominika Cibulkova earlier in the day.
Six Russian women had been in the main draw, as well as three Muscovites now representing other countries, but all bar world No. 16 Kirilenko had fallen before the quarterfinal stage.
Kirilenko had been bidding for her first singles title since 2008 and to reach the Kremlin Cup final for a second time after losing to Victoria Azarenka in 2010.
Arvidsson, the world No. 46, won her second and last career title in Memphis in February and has not reached a final since, although she was a semifinalist in Brussels in May.
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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.