Youzhny pulls out of Moscow

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:33 PM ET

MOSCOW -- Second-seeded defending champion Mikhail Youzhny pulled out of the draw, while third-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered a second-round loss Thursday at the $1.08 million Kremlin Cup.

The world No. 9 Youzhny was scheduled to meet Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, but the Russian star was unable to play due to a viral infection. Istomin, instead, played and beat French lucky-loser Paul-Henri Mathieu 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. Mathieu captured this Moscow event in 2002 and was the runner-up in 2007.

The Muscovite Youzhny, a U.S. Open semifinalist last month, beat Serb Janko Tipsarevic in last year's finale here.

Meanwhile, the former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga was tripped up by Serbian Viktor Troicki, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, on the indoor hardcourts at Olympic Stadium.

More upsets came when Russian Igor Kunitsyn took out sixth-seeded Kazakhstanian Andrey Golubev 6-4, 7-5 and Alexandr Dolgopolov dismissed seventh-seeded fellow Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).

One other second-rounder saw Argentine Horacio Zeballos drive out Romanian qualifier Victor Crivoi 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

Friday's quarterfinals will pit fourth-seeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis against Dolgopolov, fifth-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek versus Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, Troicki against Zeballos, and the qualifier Kunitsyn versus Istomin.

Russians have won six straight and 11 of the last 13 titles here. The only Russian who could win it now this year is Kunitsyn, who captured his lone ATP title here two years ago by stunning countryman Marat Safin in the finale.

The 2010 Kremlin Cup champion will earn $181,750.


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