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Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 7:09:00 PM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 7:11:08 PM
Gilles Simon on his way to winning the 300th match of his career. He beat Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open. – AFP Photo
BANGKOK: Frenchman Gilles Simon celebrated winning the 300th match of his career on Thursday after dominating Australian Bernard Tomic 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open.
Simon, who flew to Asia immediately after defeating compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the Metz title at the weekend, admitted that he did not know that he was on the cusp of a personal milestone.
“I must be getting older, I want to get to 400 now,” joked the 28-year-old, who became the ninth Frenchman in the post-1968 Open era to win at least 300 matches in Tour play.
Simon began with an early break, carrying that margin through the opening set, which he won in 43 minutes.
In the second set, the French player earned the break for 6-5 as Tomic put a return wide. He closed out victory a game later, following another error from the Australian, after 79 minutes.
Simon, whose second child was born this month, said it took a big effort to get up for his noon start in the second round against Tomic after an opening-round bye.
“I’m still on European time, so it was a 7am start and a 3am wake up,” he said.
“It was tough today, but I like the conditions here,” said the 2012 Bangkok finalist who won the event in 2009. “I suppose that’s why I’ve been successful here most of the time.”
“I was afraid of this match but I got through it, I’m happy about that, now I’ll try to recover as best as I can and be ready for tomorrow.”
On Friday, the ATP number 14 will face Dutchman Igor Sijsling, whom he defeated in their only previous meeting indoors in Metz three years ago.
Simon’s win was his second against Tomic, whom he beat on grass last summer in an Eastbourne quarter-final. Simon has now reached the quarter-finals or better nine times this season after winning his 34th match of the season against 20 losses. – AFP
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