Brown Upsets Simon In Montpellier
World No. 133 beats former Montpellier semi-finalist
Dustin Brown earned his biggest scalp for eight months on Thursday when he hit 10 aces to defeat third seed and World No. 15 Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-4 in 64 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals at the Open Sud de France. It was Brown's biggest victory since beating then No. 10-ranked Rafael Nadal in the 2015 Wimbledon second round.
"I feel happy," Brown told ATPWorldTour.com. "Gilles is a great player and I've played against him twice before - and lost. Watching his last matches, and knowing how he plays, I wanted to be aggressive with my serve and my return. I tried not to let him play his strengths. I didn't play as much serve and volley, coming into the net on second serves. I didn't give him a lot of time."
Simon said, "It was a tough match, Dustin played fantastic. He was really confident and he was very successful in everything he was trying. He was really aggressive on serve, with a high percentage, and even on second serve. He put on the pressure from the first point to the last."
Brown now faces Ruben Bemelmans, who overcame Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3. Bemelmans will contest his first ATP World Tour quarter-final since October 2013 at Vienna (l. to Rosol).
In the evening session, another seed fell as Paul-Henri Mathieu upset No. 4 Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3. The 34-year-old Mathieu is No. 93 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, but reached a peak of No. 12 in the world in 2008. The Frenchmen combined to create 11 break points during the 68-minute encounter. Mathieu held nine of them and broke Paire four times to even the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 1-1.
In the quarter-finals, Mathieu will face Aussie John Millman, who saw off French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes. Millman was broken twice in the opening set, but found his range on serve in a one-sided second set, dropping just four points on his delivery. In the decider, Millman raced to a 4-0 lead and fended off a late Roger-Vasselin charge to advance to his maiden ATP World Tour quarter-final.
In doubles action, brothers Mischa Zverev and Sascha Zverev booked their place in the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Borna Coric and Antonio Sancic. Also advancing were second seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus. The 2016 Auckland champions are into the final four after defeating Mateusz Kowalczyk and Andreas Siljestrom 7-6(3), 6-3.