Simon Advances To Second Round In Pau

Gilles Simon (photo: Teréga Open Pau-Pyrénées)

PAU/STARNBERG, February 23, 2022

Five Frenchmen booked their spot in the second round of the Teréga Open Pau-Pyrénées on Tuesday. Gilles Simon, sixth seed of the €90,280 ATP Challenger 100 tournament, defeated US-American qualifier Emilio Nava 6-4, 7-6(2). The 37-year-old former World No. 6 saved the only break point he faced and converted one of his own four break-point chances to advance after one hour and 38 minutes.

Simon will next take on Roman Safiullin of Russia, who edged out local wild card entry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6(6) in one hour and 29 minutes.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert rallied past Swiss teenager Dominic Stricker 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. The No. 4 seed struck 15 aces and won 84 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after exactly two hours of play. Up next for Herbert will be either Belgian Ruben Bemelmans or Moroccan wild card Elliot Benchetrit.

In other action, 17-year-old French qualifier Arthur Fils, 2021 boys’ finalist at Roland Garros, defeated Chinese lucky loser Zhizhen Zhang 7-5, 6-0 to record his first match win on the ATP Challenger Tour and will face eighth-seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

Manuel Guinard benefited from the retirement of Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. The World No. 229 was leading 6-1, 5-3 when Kuznetsov was forced to stop playing due to a low back injury.

Qualifier Antoine Escoffier overcame Kacper Zuk from Poland 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and awaits the winner of the match between his French compatriot Maxime Janvier and Radu Albot of Moldova. The latter has replaced top seed Benjamin Bonzi, who withdrew from the tournament with a back injury.