Paris - Defending champion David Ferrer was pushed to three sets by Czech Lukas Rosol in his opening match at the Paris Masters on Wednesday before easing into the last-16, 6-0, 2-6, 6-3.
Rosol, who is part
of his country's squad to face Serbia in the Davis Cup final on November
15, appeared to be on the receiving end of a rout before fighting back
to give Ferrer a scare when he won the second set 6-2.
the experience of the 31-year-old Grand Slam finalist proved decisive
in the final frame as Ferrer consistently put pressure on the Rosol
serve and was rewarded with a third round tie against Frenchman Gilles
The Nice native, a semi-finalist loser last year in Paris
against Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, defeated Nicolas Mahut in a marathon
6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3) second round matchup.
Simon led 4-1 in the final set before an injury break forced upon Mahut appeared to revive the taller Frenchman.
when the conclusion went to a tie-break, it was Simon who was strongest
and finally closed out the longest match of the tournament for a
"It was very difficult for both of us and we both had problems," said a relieved Simon.
"It's the last tournament of the year and we're ready to die out there but I'm very, very happy to have won this match."
fourth seed Juan Martin Del Potro made it 14 wins from 15 matches since
the US Open, as he improved his record to eight victories in ten
outings against returning Tour veteran Marin Cilic.
25-year-old, who won his fourth ATP title of the year last weekend at
Basel, withstood 19 aces from his opponent before closing out a tense
encounter 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) against the Croatian.
Cilic is playing his first tournament since Wimbledon, following a shortened doping ban.
is a really big tournament and very important for all the players so
I'm very happy to have won and hope to go far in the tournament," said
"It's fantastic to be back in Paris because I missed
the French Open this year and a lot of people have come out to support
me," he added.
Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka increased his chances of
not only trying to finish the year inside the top ten for the first
time, but also of protecting his eighth place ranking when he ground
down Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
A tight match with
just three breaks of serve in total swung the 2008 Olympic doubles
champion's way in the final frame, thanks to his booming serve that
produced 19 aces.
This year's US Open semi-finalist now faces
13th seed Nicolas Almagro following the Spaniard's comfortable 6-4, 6-3
victory over Croatian Ivan Dodig.
Earlier, big-serving American
John Isner bombarded Polish qualifier Michal Przysiezny with 27 aces on
the way to a 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3 second round win.
Awaiting the topped ranked US player is six-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.
Nadal is next on centre court as he makes his much anticipated
tournament debut against fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, while his
long-time rival Roger Federer is also in action.
The Swiss record
Grand Slam holder needs to beat South African Kevin Anderson to seal
his place at next month's ATP World Tour Finals for the 12th straight
Canadian Milos Raonic, who faces Dutch qualifier Robin
Haase in the final evening match-up, faces a daunting challenge in his
bid to overtake Richard Gasquet, Wawrinka or Federer and gatecrash the
World Tour Finals.
The powerful serving, Montenegro-born 22-year-old, must reach the final in Paris to have a chance of qualifying.
Results from the Paris Masters Series tournament on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
David Ferrer (ESP x3) bt Luks Rosol (CZE) 6-0, 2-6, 6-3
John Isner (USA x13) bt Michal Przysiezny (POL) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3
Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP x12) bt Ivan Dodig (CRO) 6-4, 6-3