Fourth-seeded Gilles Simon advanced to his sixth ATP World Tour semifinal of the season on Friday as he defeated fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-1 at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. Simon won the event in 2009, and lost to Andy Murray in the semifinals in 2011. Simon improved to a 37-20 in 2012.
"It was difficult to win against him," said Simon. "I always try everything to win, even if [Monfils] was not in his best shape. I think it was tough but I played him the right way. My game is fine. It’s difficult to say something about it today because I don’t really play my game with Gael. I've known him for a long time, so I know the way I have to play him and I think I will have to play another [style of] game tomorrow."
Simon advances to face top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, a 7-6(5), 6-4 winner over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Tipsarevic saved seven of the nine break points he faced and broke Verdasco three times as he improved to a 4-2 lead over Verdasco in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
"I met Gilles many times, I’ve lost more than I’ve won," said Tipsarevic, who trails Simon 4-1 head-to-head. "It’s going to be a very tough match. Gilles is a previous champion here, he knows the surface, he keeps coming back every year and I am here for the first time. I am really expecting a similar match to today: very, very tough."