11/1/12 2:57 PM | Ricky Dimon
Paris is serving up some home cooking for Gilles Simon this week. Simon, continuing to benefit from Roger Federer's absence, gets a walkover past Kei Nishikori on Thursday.
First it was getting to play lucky loser Victor Hanescu instead of 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. Then it was receiving a walkover past Kei Nishikori on Thursday.
The good fortune is falling into Gilles Simon's lap left and right this week at the BNP Paribas Masters. Simon, who opened with a straight-set victory over Marcos Baghdatis, will go up against Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
As for Nishikori, the No. 15 seed had to withdraw due to a lingering ankle injury. It forced him to pull out of Basel, but he was at least able to beat Benoit Paire on Tuesday before calling it a week.
"I tried to play here but after the first match the pain became worse," Nishikori explained. "It hurt last night when I was back at the hotel. I tried to warm up but I wasn't at 100 percent."
At the same time, luck may be running out for Simon. The 20th-ranked Frenchman was also dealing with an undisclosed problem prior to what would have been a third-round showdown.
"This morning I didn't feel very good," Simon said. "I don't really want to explain in detail where I'm hurting, but it was good he retired today because some days you feel ready and today I didn't."
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