© Open13 / Yohan Brandt

Gilles Simon moves through to the second round in Marseille following a straight sets win on Tuesday.

Two-time Champ Simon Through To Next Round

Khachanov notches first win in Marseille

Two-time champion Gilles Simon safely navigated his way through two tie-break sets to beat rising German star Maximilian Marterer 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in the first round of the Open 13 Provence on Tuesday.

The Frenchman, who most recently won the event in 2015 (d. Monfils), won 73 per cent of points on his first serve, but was made to save two set points at 4-5 in the second set before securing the victory. Simon moves into a second-round meeting with Rolex Paris Masters runner-up Filip Krajinovic.

Krajinovic marked his return to France with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa. The one-hour, 57-minute match featured six breaks of serve with the Serbian converting on all three of his opportunities.

Ninth seed Karen Khachanov faltered in his debut at the Open 13 Provence in 2017. But the 21-year-old had no such issue this year, securing his first win in Marseille by beating Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 7-6(2).

Khachanov, who last year qualified for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals, fired 15 aces to beat the Belgian qualifier in just 77 minutes. The World No. 47 will meet the winner of Wednesday’s first match on Court Central between Germany’s Mischa Zverev and Blaz Kavcic.

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Seeds Survive In Doubles Openers
In doubles, top seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Italians Thomas Fabbiano and Stefano Travaglia. Klaasen and Venus dropped just five points behind their first serve in the 55-minute contest, and saved the only break point they faced to reach the last eight.

Second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin needed a Match Tie-break to overcome Open Sud de France doubles champion Ken Skupski and his partner Stefanos Tsitsipas 2-6, 6-3, 10/6. An extended tie-break was also needed for Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut, who beat Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop 6-7(3), 6-3, 10-4. Middelkoop has won two doubles titles on tour this year, alongside Dutch compatriot Robin Haase, in Pune and Sofia.

Did You Know?
Seven of the past 12 editions of the Open 13 Provence have been won by a French player. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2009, 2013, 2017), Gilles Simon (2015, 2007), Michael Llodra (2010) and Arnaud Clement (2006) have all delighted the home crowd with title runs in recent years.