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Sousa Opens Casablanca Campaign; Simon Qualifies

Casablanca, Morocco

Sousa© Getty ImagesJoao Sousa made a strong start to his Casablanca campaign.

Fifth seed Joao Sousa opened his Grand Prix Hassan II campaign with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Igor Sijsling on Monday in Casablanca. The Portuguese player, who is at a career-high World No. 38 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, notched his ninth win of the season as he broke serve four times for victory in 58 minutes.

World No. 61 Carlos Berlocq recorded just his third win of the season as he converted four of eight break points in a 6-4, 6-1 win over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

World No. 27 Gilles Simon guaranteed his place in the main draw by defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 6-2 in 71 minutes in the final round of qualifying. The Frenchman also qualified in 2008 and went on to lift the trophy (d. Benneteau).

Also victorious in the final round of qualifying were Filip Peliwo, David Goffin and Roberto Carballes Baena.

Top Seeds Reach Doubles Quarter-finals
Top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Albert Montanes and Filippo Volandri. Rojer and Tecau are looking to reach their third final of the season this week, having won the title in Zagreb (d. Mertinak/Marx) and finished runners-up in Rotterdam (l. to Llodra/Mahut).

Second seeds Jamie Murray and John Peers also made a strong start, beating Frantisek Cermak and Mikhail Elgin 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals.

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