September 12-September 19, 1998
  1. President's Cup first round results

  2. ADB approves loan to Uzbekistan

  3. USACOM announces exercise CENTRAZBAT

  4. Uzbek President rounds off visit to Israel

  5. Aeroflot, Uzbek Airlines ready to cooperate always

  6. Kafelnikov, Henman win semifinals

  7. Henman captures President's Cup for second consecutive time

  President's Cup first round results
  Fresh off his strong fourth-round showing at the U.S. Open, Russian teenager Marat Safin stormed into the second round today at the $475,000 President's Cup hardcourt tennis event. Safin, the sixth seed, needed just over an hour to defeat wild card Timur Ganiev of Uzbekistan, 6-2, 6-2. "I guess I really started to believe in myself after the U.S. Open," said Safin. The 18-year-old Safin, who made a name for himself by reaching the fourth round at the French Open, also advanced to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open before falling to top-ranked Pete Sampras. He has climbed fro 194th to 57th in the rankings. In other opening-round play, eighth seed David Prinosil of Germany was eliminated by Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Also, David Nainkin of South Africa rallied past Frenchman Lionel Roux, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3; Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands held off Spain's Oscar Burrieza, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5); Gaston Etlis of Argentina got past South African Neville Godwin, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5; Italy's Laurence Tieleman topped Germany's Rainer Schuttler, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3; and Eyal Ran of Israel dumped Petr Luxa of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3. Top seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing U.S. Open performance. After reaching the semifinals of his previous two tune-up events, Kafelnikov failed to capitalize on the many upsets in his half of the U.S. Open draw, losing to Sweden's Thomas Johansson in the fourth round. Kafelnikov has won two tournaments this year -- the Guardian Direct Cup and the Gerry Weber Open -- and has compiled a 37-21 record. The 24-year-old flew to Tashkent on his personal jet and will take on German qualifier Martin Sinner in Tuesday's first-round action. Second seed and defending champion Tim Henman enters this event having displaced Greg Rusedski as Britain's top player. Henman reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open before losing to eventual runner-up Mark Philippoussis. Currently ranked 11th, Henman is four spots ahead of Rusedski in the rankings, following Rusedski's third-round loss at the Open. Henman will begin defense of his title Tuesday against Israeli qualifier Nir Welgreen. Also on Tuesday, third seed Cedric Pioline of France will take on Vadim Kutsenko of Uzbekistan; fourth seed Nicolas Escude of France will meet Dmitri Tomashevich of Uzbekistan; fifth seed Marc Rosset of Switzerland, last year's runner-up, will face Tuomas Ketola of Finland; and seventh seed Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark will play Italy's Stefano Pescosolido. Rosset made headlines at the U.S. Open when he decided at the last minute to cancel his booking on the ill-fated SwissAir Flight 111, which crashed off the coast of Nova Scotia. First prize is $66,400.

First Round

Y. Kafelnikov
M. Sinner
6, 6
4, 2
T. Henman
N. Welgreen
6, 6
1, 4
C. Pioline
V. Kutsenko
6, 6
3, 3
N. Escude
D. Tomashevich
6, 6
3, 3
M. Rosset
T. Ketola
7(12), 7
6(10), 5
S. Pescosolido
K. Carlsen
7(7), 6
6(2), 2
H. Levy
O. Ogorodov
6, 3, 6
4, 6, 3
R. Wassen
L. Burgsmuller
3, 6, 6
6, 2, 3
  ADB approves loan to Uzbekistan
  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday approved a loan of 70 million U.S. dollars to help Uzbekistan repair a historic railway in the country. The ADB said in a press release that the railway, covering part of the famed silk route from Chengeldy to Samarkand in Uzbekistan, is in urgent need of repair. The poor condition of the 320-kilometer railway track forces trains to travel at a speed as low as 25 kilometers per hour instead of the normal 80 kilometers per hour, the bank said. Railways are the main mode of transport in Uzbekistan, carrying nearly 90 percent of all freight. The ADB said that improving this critical route will boost trade and stimulate economic growth in the country.
  USACOM announces exercise CENTRAZBAT
  U.S. joint forces return to Central Asia Sept. 20, for CENTRAZBAT 98, the second in a series of annual, multi-national, military exercises conducted in the spirit of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. This year, soldiers from the Army's 10th Mountain Division, under the direction of U.S. Atlantic Command, will take part in peacekeeping training with the Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion (CENTRASBAT) and forces from four other nations. The CENTRASBAT is made up of forces from Kazakstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The other participating nations are Turkey, Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Approximately 259 U.S. personnel will take part in CENTRAZBAT 98, along with 272 from the CENTRASBAT, and about 200 from the other four participating nations. This year's exercise will begin in Chirchik, Uzbekistan, with peacekeeping skills training, and will conclude at Osh, Kyrgyzstan, with a field training exercise putting those skills to the test. The objectives of this year's exercise include:

* Introducing Partner participants to NATO doctrine.
* Providing exposure to U.S. military peacekeeping operations and training methods at the squad, platoon and company level.
* Strengthening U.S. and Central Asian military relationships.
* Demonstrating the United States' growing cooperative relationship with the Central Asian republics.
* Fostering regional cooperation.

  Uzbek President rounds off visit to Israel
  Uzbek President Islam Karimov's three-day visit to Israel is to end on Wednesday. He signed with Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu the day before a package of agreements on the promotion of cooperation in agriculture, protection of the environment, public health, technological exchanges, and on taxation. In addition to economic and social matters, Karimov and the Israeli leaders devoted much attention to the problem of combatting Islamic extremism. The Uzbek president and Netanyahu agreed in principle on Tuesday to jointly combat this phenomenon and to prevent the proliferation of mass destruction weapons in the region. "We adhere to the same assessment of the danger to peace and stability in the region, and intend to work in this sphere hand in hand," the Israeli premier said. Close relations with Uzbekistan, the population of which includes twenty-three million Moslems, and which borders on Iran, are "natural and necessary for Israel," Netanyahu noted. The participants of the talks did not disclose the crux of their cooperation to "combat Islamic extremism". The local press stresses that Karimov had previously pointed more than once to the danger constituted by the radical Islamic trends and to the possible turning of Iran into a nuclear power. However, the Uzbek president stressed after his talks with Netanyahu that the main purpose of his visit was to promote bilateral commercial relations.
  Aeroflot, Uzbek Airlines ready to cooperate always
  Director-General of "Aeroflot-Russian international Airlines" Valery Okulov and chief of "Uzbek Airlines" Aslan Ruzmetov confirmed on Friday at a news conference preparedness for cooperation no matter what. The news conference was devoted to the signing by two air companies of agreements on cooperation, which considerably expand possibilities of both carriers during the flights to Europe and Asia. "Despite the crisis, we do not intend to review our relations," Okulov told reporters. Ruzmetov was also optimistic. He told reporters: "We have much common with Aeroflot, all of us came from Aeroflot." The agreements envisage routes of common use during the flights from Moscow to Tashkent, Samarkand, Urgench and Bukhara, as well as cargo airlifting along the route New Delhi-Tashkent- Moscow.
  Kafelnikov, Henman win semifinals
  Defending champion Tim Henman of Britain and top-seeded Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov won semifinal- round matches in the President's Cup on Saturday. The second-seeded Henman outplayed fourth-seeded Nicolas Escude of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Kafelnikov easily ousted Frenchman Cedric Pioline 6-2, 6-2. The 24-year-old Russian had beaten the third-seeded Pioline in nine of 10 previous matches. Henman expects a tough finals in the ATP Tour event Sunday. "I met Kafelnikov six or seven times and won only twice," he said. Both players still have a chance to earn a berth in the ATP Championship in Hanover, Germany later this year. Marcelo Rios, Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter already have enough points to qualify.
  Henman captures President's Cup
  Second-seeded Tim Henman defeated top-seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7-5, 6-4 to win the $500,000 President's Cup tournament Sunday. "I was playing for the second time in this tournament and I will definitely return here for a third time," said Henman, the defending champion from Great Britain. Kafelnikov, the former French Open winner from Russia, broke Henman's serve in the seventh game of the first set but double faulted four times in the 10th game to let the Briton equalize. Henman broke again in the 12th game, winning the set with an overhead smash. "The 10th game was the turning point of the match," Henman said. "Before this, he seemed to be stronger than I thought." Henman still has a chance to earn a berth at the ATP Championship in Hannover, Germany, this year. Marcelo Rios, Pete Sampras and Patrick Rafter have already collected enough points to qualify. Henman won $66,400 for the title, while Kafelnikov earned $39,300.

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