Superb Simon Sends Medvedev Packing In Marseille, To Face Felix
Gilles Simon has climbed as high as No. 6 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, captured 14 ATP Tour titles, and he is closing in on 500 tour-level wins. But the Frenchman has had more success at the Open 13 Provence than any other tournament, and on Friday he showed why.
Simon upset top seed and World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-0 in just 67 minutes to reach the semi-finals in Marseille. The 35-year-old has now won 29 matches at this tournament (29-11), more triumphs than he has earned at any other event.
Simon: Most Wins By Event
The World No. 58 leads the Russian star 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head series after winning 91 per cent of his first-serve points in their quarter-final. Simon broke serve five times from six opportunities and only dropped his serve once to reach the last four in Marseille for the fifth time. He will next play #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Simon lifted his first ATP Tour trophy in Marseille in 2007, and he also emerged victorious here in 2015. He has won five of his 14 tour-level titles in France, with the other three coming in Metz.
The 35-year-old had not won multiple matches at the same event this season when he arrived in Marseille. But Simon has not dropped a set en route to the semi-finals. Medvedev, who reached nine tour-level finals in 2019, was pursuing his first semi-final of 2020.
Simon's next opponent, seventh seed Auger-Aliassime, eliminated Pune finalist Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-5, 6-2.
Gerasimov earned his first Top 10 win on Thursday against third seed David Goffin (previously 0-3, 0-7 in sets), so the Belarusian carried plenty of momentum into his battle against Auger-Aliassime. But the Canadian, who saved multiple match points in his first two matches of the tournament, broke serve four times and won 83 per cent of his first-serve points to beat the qualifier in straight sets.
Felix is now one win from reaching his fifth ATP Tour final (0-4). The 19-year-old most recently became the youngest finalist in Rotterdam history, falling short against Gael Monfils in the championship match.
Auger-Aliassime made his first tour-level final one year ago this week, accomplishing the feat in Rio de Janeiro. He takes a 1-0 ATP Head2Head series lead into his clash against Simon, whom he defeated in Stuttgart last year 7-5, 6-4.
Did You Know?
In 2019, Simon earned at least 20 tour-level wins for the 13th time in the past 14 seasons (2006-16, 2018-19).