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Simon, Gasquet Into Montpellier QFs

Montpellier, France

Simon© Open Sud de FranceGilles Simon was one of three Frenchmen to reach the Montpellier quarters Wednesday.

World No. 12 Gilles Simon won his Montpellier opener on Wednesday, dismissing Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the Open Sud de France quarter-finals.

The second-seeded Frenchman saved all four break points against his serve, and won 77 per cent of his first serve points to claim victory in one hour and 34 minutes over the Italian.

Simon is looking to win his 10th ATP World Tour title. He started the year off by progressing to the semi-finals of the Brisbane International (l. to Dolgopolov). In the final eight, Simon will square off against countryman Guillaume Rufin.

The French wild card and World No. 209 knocked out fifth seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-6(5), 6-3 in 90 minutes.

Lopez fought back from a 0-3 deficit in the first set, but 21-year-old Rufin kept his nerve to record his first Top 20 win and reach his second ATP World Tour quarter-final (2010 Marseille). Rufin dropped 15 points on serve and hit 16 aces, while Lopez struck six double faults and 13 aces.

Fourth seed Richard Gasquet delighted French supporters by beating former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4. Gasquet improved to 3-1 against Davydenko after hitting 10 aces for victory in 87 minutes.

Wild card Davydenko, who is ranked outside of the Top 50 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings (at No. 52) for the first time since September 2004, won 15 points on return of serve.

No. 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber improved to an 8-3 season record, defeating Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 7-5. The German fired 10 aces and converted all four of his break point opportunities against the 28-year-old Frenchman to advance to the quarter-finals in one hour and 23 minutes.

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