10/15/12 11:15 PM | Ricky Dimon
Denis Istomin storms back to beat Bjorn Phau on Monday in Moscow. Istomin is joined in the second round by Lukas Rosol, a straight-set winner over Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
(6) Denis Istomin d. Bjorn Phau 5-7, 7-5, 6-1
Phau was two points from victory serving at 5-4, 30-0 in the second set, but Istomin made an incredible escape to eventually prevail in two hours and 11 minutes. In fact, Phau serve for each of the first two sets at 5-4. The 33-year-old German also failed in the opener, but he broke right back at 5-5 and successfully closed it out one game later.
The second disaster, however, was one from which Phau could not recover. Starting at 3-5 (and facing another break point), Istomin reeled off a whopping nine straight games en route to a 5-0 advantage in the third. Phau finally got back on the scoreboard with a meaningless hold, but Istomin served it out at 5-1 and converted match point with a perfect drop-volley. The sixth-seeded Uzbek will go up against Lukas Rosol in round two.
Lukas Rosol d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(9), 7-6(2)
A match that featured zero breaks of serve saw Rosol come up clutch at the crucial moments to get the job done in straight sets after one hour and 46 minutes. Rosol fought off break points in both sets; two in the first and one in the second. Gimeno-Traver saved four in the first but did not have to face any in the second.
Most of the drama occurred in the opening tiebreaker, with Rosol pulling through it 11 points to nine. The Czech had a much easier time of things at the end of set two, seizing an immediate mini-break for 1-0 and never looking back. Rosol wrapped up his effort with 11 aces and three double-faults. Gimeno-Traver, a clay-courter, fired a surprising 10 aces.
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