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Simon reaches second round, Santoro out

Latest update : 2009-02-18

Masters Cup semi-finalist Gilles Simon eliminated Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to get into the second round, with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win. Fabrice Santoro and Marat Safin were both beaten in three sets by Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Arnaud Clement.

REUTERS - French second seed Gilles Simon recovered from the brink of defeat to reach the Marseille Open second round with a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on Tuesday.

 

Masters Cup semi-finalist Simon was 4-5, 0-30 down on Dimitrov's serve in the decider when he rallied to clinch three games in a row and wrap up victory on his first match point after two hours and eight minutes.

 

Dimitrov, 17, was handed a wildcard by tournament organisers after he snatched a set off world number one Rafa Nadal in Rotterdam last week.

 

Simon next faces Germany's Rainer Schuettler, who brushed aside French qualifier Laurent Recouder 6-1 6-4.

 

Earlier, former world number one Marat Safin was eliminated in the first round, losing 4-6 6-3 6-2 to Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

 

Despite serving 18 aces the seventh seed from Russia failed to match Clement's pace from the baseline and bowed out after one hour 54 minutes.

 

World number 78 Clement next meets German Mischa Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals.
 

Date created : 2009-02-18

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