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Simon Returns To Winning Ways; Mahut Upsets Seppi In Metz

Metz, France

MahutA. Briand - Moselle OpenNicolas Mahut is bidding to win his third ATP World Tour title of the year.

Second seed Gilles Simon, playing his first tournament in more than a month, recorded his 30th match win of the season as he defeated Frenchman Kenny de Schepper 6-2, 6-3 in his second-round opener at the Moselle Open.

“Today was a great match,” said Simon, who converted five of his eight break points for the 65-minute victory. “I returned very well and was relaxed on court. I was playing just point after point and felt very well.”

Since reaching the final at Eastbourne (l. to Lopez), an injured Simon had lost four straight openers. He had been diagnosed with pertussis and two broken ribs following Wimbledon, and then retired with a hip flexor injury at the Western & Southern Open. He missed the US Open, during which time he welcomed his second son with fiancée Carine on 9 September. 

“I was very disappointed to be injured lately,” he said. “The good thing was that I was able to be present for the birth of our second son Valentin.”

Simon is making his first appearance in Metz since winning the title in 2010 (d. Zverev) and will face American Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals. “Again I will play against a player with a great serve. I know him well and I know what to expect.”

Nicolas Mahut caused an upset earlier Thursday. The 31-year-old Frenchman, playing at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament for the 10th time in 11 years, knocked out third seed and last year’s runner-up Andreas Seppi 6-4, 6-4 in 77 minutes. He will next play Benjamin Becker, who defeated wild card Albano Olivetti 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1.

Eighth seed Florian Mayer won 22 of his 26 first service points to beat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-2 in one hour to reach the quarter-finals for the second straight year.

German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 2009 finalist and No. 4 seed, retired with a right knee injury one hour and 56 minutes into his match against Carlos Berlocq. The Argentine had been up an early break in the third set, 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 2-1.

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Tsonga/Mahut Reach Doubles SFs
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga partnered Mahut to a 7-6(11), 7-5 win over fourth seeds Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich for a semi-final berth. Earlier in the day, Tsonga joined Tournament Director Julien Boutter in laying the foundation stone for a new tennis club in nearby Yutz.

Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, the top seeds, advanced to the semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Nicholas Monroe and Simon Stadler in 50 minutes.

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Moselle Open, Metz

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