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Simon Sets Baghdatis Clash

Brisbane, Australia

Simon© AFP/Getty ImagesGilles Simon will look to reach the Brisbane semi-finals for a second time.

Third-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon earned a hard-fought win in his 2013 season opener, edging Colombian Alejandro Falla 7-6(5), 7-6(5) to secure his place in the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International.

Simon began the second set with a break, only to drop serve in the sixth game. He built a 5-2 lead in the tie-break and prevented Falla from getting back on serve at 6-5, claiming the victory after two hours and 12 minutes.

The former World No. 6 will look to reach the Brisbane semi-finals for a second straight year when he faces former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis, who upset sixth-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2 in 71 minutes. The 27-year-old Baghdatis is through to the Brisbane quarter-finals for the third year in a row and will look to avenge the defeat he suffered to Simon in his final match of the 2012 ATP World Tour season at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. 

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori converted three of 11 break points as he dismissed Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-3 in 85 minutes. The Japanese player, who claimed his 100th match win in the first round, will face fourth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov for a place in the semi-finals of this ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament. 

Fourth seed Dolgopolov was leading 6-2, 4-1 when his opponent, Jarkko Nieminen was forced to retire with a migraine. The Ukrainian finished runner-up to Andy Murray in last year’s Brisbane final and is bidding to win his third ATP World Tour this week.

The 24-year-old Dolgopolov, who compiled a 34-25 match record in 2012, will attempt to level his FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 1-1 with Nishikori when they meet in the quarter-finals. Nishikori won their one previous meeting at the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2011.

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