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Simon Opens Title Defence; Troicki Finds Form; Seppi Beaten

Bucharest, Romania

Rosol© Raed KrishanLukas Rosol ousted third seed Andreas Seppi to reach the quarter-finals.

Second seed and defending champion Gilles Simon fought from a set down to overcome the in-form Jarkko Nieminen, beating the Finn 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes on Wednesday in his opening second-round match at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy.

"It’s always great to be back in Bucharest," said Simon. "I won so many matches on this centre court, so whenever I step on it I have a lot of confidence. Even if I feel tired before coming here, I don't want to miss this event because I always feel great here. I’m happy with the way I played the last game today.”

The 31-year-old Nieminen returned to the Top 40 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this week after knocking out Milos Raonic and Juan Martin del Potro to reach the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals (l. to Djokovic). Simon improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head against the Finn to 3-2 as he saved 12 of the 16 break points he faced.

The No. 16-ranked Simon quickly put behind him the first-round loss he suffered to Roberto Bautista Agut in Monte-Carlo. The Frenchman is a three-time former winner of this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament, lifting the trophy on his past three visits in 2007 (d. Hanescu), 2008 (d. Moya) and 2012 (d. Fognini).

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Eighth seed Viktor Troicki reached his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season as he defeated Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-4, 6-2. The Serb, who had failed to win back-to-back matches this season, broke serve six times as he prevailed in one hour and 32 minutes..

Troicki goes on to face Czech Republic’s Lukas Rosol, who upset third-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 44 minutes. The 27-year-old Rosol created 13 break point chances and converted four as he claimed his 10th win of the season. 

Germany’s Daniel Brands advanced when Gael Monfils was forced to retire with a lower back injury; Brands had been leading 7-6(1), 2-0.

Top Doubles Seeds Make Strong Start
Top seeds Max Mirnyi and home favourite Horia Tecau opened their BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace. The Sydney and Delray Beach runners-up won 78 per cent of their service points and broke serve once in each set.

Third seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak.

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