Tennis

Simon into Brisbane semis

2012-01-05 13:41
Gilles Simon (File)

Brisbane - Frenchman Gilles Simon continued his low-key run at the Brisbane International with a solid 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 quarter-final win over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo on Thursday.

Second seed Simon lost to Giraldo in the first round in Brisbane last year but was too consistent for the Colombian this time in a match lasting two hours.

Simon has now won three matches this week without dropping a set and looks in better shape than top seed Andy Murray, who has struggled to win his opening two matches.

The Frenchman, ranked 12th in the world, struggled on serve at times throughout the match but was able to break Giraldo at key moments and played a solid tiebreaker to take an early advantage.

He then held off the Colombian to advance to the final four and a showdown against either former champion Radek Stepanek or Alexandr Dolgopolov.

"I think we played a high level from the very first game," Simon said of his match with Giraldo.

"It was difficult but I think I was stronger than him physically and finally he started to miss a lot. I got some easy points at times and I felt that I had more opportunities than him.

"I won the tiebreak and I think it is always important to win the tiebreak when you've been playing for more than an hour.

"After I won the tiebreak I felt more comfortable."

Simon reached a career high world ranking of six in 2009 before a knee injury kept him off court for the first six months of 2010.

He said the Brisbane tournament was giving him the ideal preparation for the Australian Open.

"I'm feeling good, I'm moving better and better every day," he said.

"It's already been a good tournament because I've played three good matches so it's a good preparation for Melbourne.

"But at the moment I'm just focusing on what I have to do here. I have very good players to beat in the next two matches and I will first see if I am able to do it."

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