11/2/12 4:31 PM | Ricky Dimon
Gilles Simon takes out Tomas Berdych in straight sets on Friday in Paris. Simon is through to the semifinals and awaits either Janko Tipsarevic or Jerzy Janowicz.
The BNP Paribas Masters already has one surprise French semifinalist on its hands, and he could be joined by two more countrymen in the last four before the day is up.
Gilles Simon upset Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 to kick off quarterfinal action on Friday afternoon. Simon saved nine of 10 break points and won 65 percent of his second-serve return points to advance in one hour and 51 minutes.
Both players had multiple break chances in the first set, but Simon's lone scalp of the Berdych serve at 2-2 proved to be the lone difference. The Czech saw three break points at 3-4 but failed to convert in what was a marathon game. He fought off three set points at 3-5 only to watch Simon close out the proceedings at love one game later.
Berdych seemed to have complete control of the second set when he stormed to a 3-0 lead. The No. 5 seed even had two break points in the fourth game to go up 4-0 with a double-break, but that's when it all came crashing down. Simon managed to hold and he ultimately reeled off six of the last seven games, including all of the last five. The world No. 20 broke at 2-4 and 4-4 before digging out a 0-40 deficit for clutch, clinching hold.
Simon finished with two aces and three double-faults while serving at 72 percent. Berdych wrapped up his effort with five aces and just one double, but he put in a mere 52 percent of his first deliveries.
The world No. 7 now heads to London for the World Tour Finals. Simon, meanwhile, awaits either Janko Tipsarevic or Jerzy Janowicz on Saturday. He could also be joined by fellow Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra in the semis.
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