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Simon, Tomic, Baghdatis Advance To Second Round

Brisbane, Australia

Simon© AFP/Getty ImagesGilles Simon will play wild card James Duckworth in the second round.

Second-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon defeated Ryan Sweeting of the United States 6-3, 6-4 on Monday for a second round meeting against Australian wild card James Duckworth at the Brisbane International.

Simon, who won two ATP World Tour titles last year at the Apia International Sydney (d. Troicki) and the bet-at-home Open - German Tennis Championships 2012 in Hamburg (d. Almagro), dropped nine points on first serve for victory in 83 minutes.

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Eighth-seeded Australian Bernard Tomic won his first match in four visits to the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament with a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Julien Benneteau of France in two hours and 28 minutes.

Tomic, 19, the youngest player in the Top 50 of the South African Airways 2012 ATP Rankings at No. 42, withstood 14 aces from the racquet of Benneteau, who saved 16 of 21 break points.

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis opened his campaign with a 7-6(7), 6-4 victory over American teenager Ryan Harrison. Former World No. 8 Baghdatis, who reached the Australian Open final (l. to Federer) in 2006, saved five of the six break points he faced and broke serve twice for victory in one hour and 41 minutes.

"I’m very pleased [to advance] and surprised with the quality of tennis I played," confessed Baghdatis. "I have some things to work on for sure. The first serve was not working very well percentage-wise. I had a lot of unforced errors, not a lot of winners. But I’m happy, first match of the year you don’t feel that well. I fought very well and that’s very positive.

"In the tie-break I played very aggressive and it paid off. I think that was the key of the match, to win the important points, and I played them really, really well."

Luxembourg's Gilles Muller will play either World No. 4 Andy Murray or Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round after he hit 23 aces and won 75 per cent of his service points to defeat Brazilian Ricardo Mello 6-7(3), 7-6(4) 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes.

Uzbekistani Denis Istomin was leading fourth seed Florian Mayer 7-6(5), 2-3, when the German retired with a right groin injury after 69 minutes of play. Istomin lost to Matthew Ebden in the 2011 second round.

Earlier in the day, Igor Andreev, Tatsuma Ito, Jesse Levine and John Millman all qualified for the main draw.

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