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Gasquet Celebrates 28th Birthday With Opening Win In Eastbourne

Eastbourne, Great Britain

Gasquet© Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet celebrated his 28th birthday with a win on Wednesday in Eastbourne.

Richard Gasquet celebrated his 28th birthday on Wednesday by coming through a testing opener at the Aegon International.

The top seed, who is seeking his third ATP World Tour grass-court title, knocked out Bernard Tomic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 44 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, venue of the ATP World Tour 250 tournament.

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Playing in just his third tournament since April, due to a back injury, Gasquet hit eight aces and saved nine of 10 break points in the pair’s sixth FedEx ATP Head2Head clash. Tomic lost just eight of his first service points and hit 16 aces.

"I felt like I had chances the first game of the third set and the second game, when he broke me," said Tomic. "I'm struggling to convert the break points lately. But it was very good tennis. It's difficult to play against him."

Gasquet will next challenge Martin Klizan, who beat Donald Young 7-6(4), 6-4.

Feliciano Lopez, the No. 3 seed, began his title defence with a 7-6(10), 7-5 victory over German qualifier Tobias Kamke. Lopez created 14 break point opportunities, capitalising three times during the two-hour match to earn his 20th match win of the season.

The Spaniard narrowly missed out on his fourth ATP World Tour title in the Aegon Championships final (l. to Dimitrov) on Sunday.

Lopez will next play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 7-5. 

Fourth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez knocked out Denis Istomin 6-2, 7-5 for a quarter-final against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, a 6-2, 7-6(4) winner over Jarkko Nieminen.

In a second-round meeting between two Frenchmen, Julien Benneteau defeated sixth seed and 2013 finalist Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4 in just under an hour. He goes on to face American Sam Querrey, who won the opening set 7-5 when lucky loser Victor Estrella Burgos retired from the match.

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Peya/Soares Continue Defence
Top seeds and defending champions Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares improved to a 6-0 mark in Eastbourne, reaching the semi-finals with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Philipp Oswald. Peya and Soares claimed the grass-court title last week at The Queen's Club.

The Austrian-Brazilian duo will meet Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski for a place in the title match after the British brothers ousted third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Max Mirnyi 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-5. A second British wild card pairing, Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Pablo Cuevas and David Marrero.

A fifth British player, Dominic Inglot, joined his countrymen in the semi-finals as he teamed up with Treat Huey to knock out No. 2 seeds Leander Paes and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-4, 6-3.

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