Gasquet, Simon clear first hurdle in Marrakech

Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet recorded contrasting victories in the opening round of the ATP Grand Prix Hassan II.

Gilles Simon in action on the ATP Tour   -  Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Gilles Simon saved match point en route to an upset three-set win over fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire that punched his ticket to the second round of the ATP Grand Prix Hassan II.

The 33-year-old staved off match point when serving to stay in the match at 5-4 before going on to rally from 5-1 down in the tie-break to record a 6-2 6-7 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) victory over the sixth seed in Marrakech

Simon, who won the tournament back in 2008 when it was held in Casablanca, converted seven of his eight break-point opportunities to prevail after two hours and two minutes on court.

Next up for Simon will be either Maximilian Marterer or Roberto Carballes Baena, who meet on Tuesday.

Richard Gasquet joined his compatriot in the last 16 thanks to a 6-1 7-6 (7-2) result against Italian Thomas Fabbiano.

The fourth seed was on court for one hour and 27 minutes, overcoming two breaks of his own serve in the second set before breezing through the tie-break.

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