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Nieminen Overcomes Davydenko In Montpellier; Troicki Opens Campaign

Montpellier, France

Nieminen© Open Sud de FranceJarkko Nieminen reached the quarter-finals in Montpellier for the third time.

Jarkko Nieminen knocked out fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 7-6(8) on Wednesday at the Open Sud de France. It was Nieminen’s first victory over the Russian in nearly 10 years.

Nieminen advanced to his third quarter-final in Montpellier (also 2010 and 2012). Davydenko finished runner-up to Richard Gasquet at last month’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.

Seventh seed Viktor Troicki, who has finished in the Top 40 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the past four years, did not face a break point in a 6-4, 7-5 first-round win over 18-year-old wild card Lucas Pouille.

Eighth-seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire saved one match point as overcame Belgium’s Steve Darcis, 4-6, 7-6(11), 6-4, in the second round. Paire, a semi-finalist at the Aircel Chennai Open in January, was on the brink of defeat in the second set tie-break, but rallied to beat Darcis in two hours and 16 minutes.

Michael Llodra hit nine aces and broke serve three times as he dismissed lucky loser Kenny De Schepper in an all-French first-round contest. The 32-year-old Llodra was a finalist at this event four years ago, when it was staged in Lyon (l. to Ljubicic).

In other first-round action, sixth-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau was leading 6-3, 4-2 when his Romanian opponent, Adrian Ungur, was forced to retire with a leg injury.

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