10/31/12 4:50 PM | Ricky Dimon
Gilles Simon defeats Victor Hanescu in straight sets to reach the Paris third round on Wednesday. Simon will face Kei Nishikori for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Gilles Simon ousted lucky loser Victor Hanescu 7-5, 6-3 during second-round action at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday afternoon. Simon, who would have faced Roger Federer had the world No. 1 remained in the tournament, advanced in one hour and 27 minutes.
The Frenchman got off to a fast start by breaking for a 3-1 lead in the first set. He consolidated it on the way to a 5-3 advantage before completely cracking with the set on his racket. Hanescu broke at love and soon got back on level terms at 5-5. Simon, however, steadied himself and won the set with a well-struck forehand pass on break point at 6-5.
Hanescu took care of three service games to begin the second but was ultimately out-classed. The 61st-ranked Romanian had lost to Alejandro Falla in qualifying and he simply did not have enough firepower for an opponent ranked 20th in the world. Simon broke easily at 4-3 with a backhand pass and served it out one game later, converting match point with his eighth ace.
Next up for Simon is Kei Nishikori, who dismissed another Frenchman on Tuesday. Japan's top player sent Benoit Paire packing with a 7-6(2), 6-2 victory.
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