Gilles Simon makes winning return at Thailand Open
ATP World Tour Finals hopeful Gilles Simon made a winning return to the Tour playing his first tournament since his US Open fourth round defeat beating Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu in Bangkok.
The No3 seed ousted Lu 7-5, 6-4 in the Thailand Open second round to set up a quarter-final meeting with German world No98 Matthias Bachinger, who won back-to-back matches on the ATP Tour for the first time in his career this week.
Simon, who won the title on his only appearance in Bangkok in 2009, is No12 in the year-to-date rankings and is pursuing one of the last four remaining spots in the London Finals this November.
World No4 and Thailand top seed Andy Murray will kick off his Asian swing on Thursday with a second round match against Germany’s Michael Berrer.
The pair’s only previous clash came at Roland Garros earlier this year where Murray beat the world No 88 in straight sets.
Second seed Gael Monfils also steps out on the circuit for the first time since New York and the top Frenchman faces 23-year-old Colombian Santiago Giraldo in the second round.
Also with an eye on a London spot, ninth-ranked Monfils is searching for a first title of the season having only made one final so far in 2011, in Washington last August.
Thailand defending champion Guillermo Garcia Lopez is first on Centre Court today as the No4 seed takes on rising American Donald Young.
The other men’s event taking place this week in Kuala Lumpur saw former Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis earn his place in the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open after he beat India’s Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-4.
“I started okay, but I was a bit impatient at 3-3 in first set when he broke my serve,” said Baghdatis.
“I tried to just keep ball in court, stay in the points for longer and I managed to break him twice to take the first set. It’s tough conditions here, very slow and you have to work the point and just find a way to win. I’m looking forward to the next one and trying to find the solutuon to win.”
The Cypriot faces No4 seed Jurgen Melzer in the last-eight after the Austrian beat Rik De Voest 6-0, 6-4. The former top-tenner also complained about the slow conditions.
“I started really well,” said Melzer. “The first set was one of the best sets I’ve played all year for sure. I’m feeling really good here, hopefully it can continue.
“The conditions are very slow but if you have enough power it can give you a little more time to set up for your shots and go for some winners, which is nice for my game.”
World No21 Melzer has struggled for form in recent weeks, not winning back-to-back matches since July.