• Simon meets Garcia-Lopez at Mutua Madrid Open

    5/9/12 7:06 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Simon meets Garcia-Lopez at Mutua Madrid Open Gilles Simon is back in action after coming back from a set and a break down against Fabio Fognini on Tuesday. Next up for Simon on Wednesday is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Gilles Simon and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will be meeting for the third time in their careers when they do battle in round two of the Mutua Madrid Open on Wednesday.

    Simon leads the head-to-head series after scoring a 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-3 victory in the second round of the 2011 U.S. Open. The Frenchman also prevailed 7-6(3), 6-4 on the clay courts of Bucharest back in 2007.

    Both players are fortunate to find themselves still in action after respective hard-fought opening victories at this event. Garcia-Lopez downed Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 23 minutes on Monday. Simon trailed Fabio Fognini 7-6(1), 3-1 on Tuesday before prevailing in three sets after two hours and 29 minutes.

    Garcia-Lopez is down at No. 94 in the world, but his victory improved his 2012 record to a decent 12-10 at the ATP level. Simon is heating up after a dismal February stretch. The world No. 12 reached the semifinals in Monte Carlo and he captured the Bucharest title two weeks ago.

    Simon is a clear favorite on paper but Garcia-Lopez will have the crowd behind him and the underdog's confidence is on the rise. Based on current form, look for Simon to survive in three entertaining sets.

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