- Special Pages
BRISBANE, Australia: France’s Gilles Simon began his fine-tuning for the Australian Open with a hard-fought win over Colombia’s Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Brisbane International yesterday. In temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) on one of the Queensland Tennis Centre’s outside courts, Simon edged out Falla in two tiebreak sets 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5).
The third-seeded Simon, a semi-finalist in Brisbane last year, was unconcerned about being relegated to one of the minor showcourts, albeit one with a roof.
Simon had a disappointing Australian Open campaign in 2012, suffering from an injury in the lead-up then falling in the second round to countryman Julien Benneteau. Falla, the world number 54, took the game right up to the Frenchman, with Simon just edging two fiercely contested tiebreaks.”
The Frenchman now plays crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis, who upset sixth-seeded German Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, joined Simon and Baghdatis in the quarter-finals with an impressive 6-3, 6-3 win over Spaniard Tommy Robredo.