No 2 seed Istomin ousted
St Petersburg - Second-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan was eliminated in the first round of the St Petersburg Open, losing to Lukasz Kubot of Poland 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Wednesday.
After losing the first set, Kubot changed tactics and jumped out to a decisive 4-0 lead in the second. A break in the opening game of the decider was ultimately enough to win the match.
"It was a tough match," Kubot said. "I tried to play aggressive tennis but made a lot of mistakes in the first set. I changed my tactics in the second set and it paid off."
Third-seeded Martin Klizan of Slovakia advanced by beating Russian wild card Mikhail Elgin 6-4, 6-3, and eighth-seeded Jurgen Zopp of Estonia went through when Russian qualifier Andrey Kumantsov retired because of dizziness when trailing 6-3, 5-3.
"It wasn't easy for me because I was a bit struggling with my back," Zopp said. "So to see him retiring was very relieving. We had a lot of tough games - one game was half an hour on 4-2. May be it looked easy but it was definitely not easy."
Zopp will play Ricardas Berankic of Lithuania, who led 6-2, 3-3 when Philipp Petzschner of Germany retired because of a right knee injury.
Igor Andreev of Russia was scheduled to face Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine but withdrew because of a right shoulder injury. On Friday, Andreev retired because of the injury in the second set of the opening singles match against Brazil in the Davis Cup.
Stakhovsky, the 2009 champion, beat Russian lucky loser Ivan Nedelko 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 and will next face fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini. The Italian saved eight of 10 break points to come from behind and beat Tobias Kamke of Germany 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Also in first-round action, Simone Bolelli of Italy beat Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, while Italy's Paolo Lorenzi rallied past Belarus qualifier Sergey Betov 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Russian wild card Teimuraz Gabashvili never faced a break in beating Belarus qualifier Nikolai Fidirko 6-2, 6-0.
Results from the third day of the St Petersburg Open on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Martin Klizan (SVK x3) bt Michail Elgin (RUS) 6-4, 6-3
Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) bt Nikolai Fidirko (BLR) 6-2, 6-0
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) bt Sergey Betov (BLR) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 7-6 (7/3), 7-5
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) bt Philipp Petzschner (GER) 6-2, 3-3 retired
Jurgen Zopp (EST x8) bt Andrey Kumantsov (RUS) 6-3, 5-3 retired
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Ivan Nedelko (RUS) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA x4) bt Tobias Kamke (GER) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt Denis Istomin (UZB x2) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4