Gilles Simon thrilled home fans by reaching the semifinals of the Paris Masters on Friday as he beat Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.
The victory in just under two hours was the first of a possible three as a record number of Frenchmen played in the quarterfinals of the indoor event at the Bercy Arena.
Simon, ranked 20th and the Bangkok finalist in September, needed four set points and almost an hour to win the opener against Berdych. He then recovered from a break down in the second to notch up the popular victory.
Berdych has now lost to Simon in five out of seven matches.
“He was just too good today, he made no mistakes at all,” said Berdych.
Bhupathi-Bopanna in last four
In doubles, the Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna defeated the Polish combination of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. The Indian duo rallied back after losing the first set tie-breaker.
The results: Quarterfinals: Gilles Simon bt Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4; Jerzy Janowicz bt Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 (retd).
Third round: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 7-6(3); Sam Querrey bt Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6(1).
Doubles (quarterfinals): Mahesh Bhupathi & Rohan Bopanna bt Mariusz Fyrstenberg & Marcin Matkowski 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-4.
Keywords: Paris Masters