Metz – Gilles Simon finally managed to beat his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet at the ninth attempt with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, victory in the Metz quarter-finals on Friday.
Aside from Gasquet winning every one of their eight previous encounters Simon arrived in Metz out of sorts, with only a US Open first round win since reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon in July.
The two-time Metz winner was more aggressive in the first set and broke to lead 4-2, but was unable to do the same when serving for the set at 5-4.
In the tie-break, Gasquet, ranked 25th, took the first two points but Simon fought back to clinch the set in 59 minutes.
He then rolled through the second set without too many problems and will face 107th ranked Moldovan Radu Albot in the last four.
“It is very, very hard to win against a player you have never beaten, but I started well,” said Simon, ranked 39th in the world.
“The tie-break in the first set was stressful but after that I played very well.”