• Simon faces Monfils, Tipsarevic takes on Verdasco

    9/28/12 3:44 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Simon faces Monfils, Tipsarevic takes on Verdasco An all-French affair is on Friday's schedule in Bangkok, with Gilles Simon going up against Gael Monfils. Janko Tipsarevic and Fernando Verdasco are also bidding for a place in the semifinals.

    (4) Gilles Simon vs. Gael Monfils

    It will be the fourth career meeting between Simon and Monfils when the two Frenchman clash in the Bangkok Open quarterfinals on Friday. Simon leads the head-to-head series 2-1, but they have split a pair of hard-court encounters. They most recently faced each other earlier this season on the indoor hard courts of Montpellier, where Monfils prevailed 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

    Monfils, however, has played sparingly since then due to knee problems. Although he is down at No. 45 in the world, his comeback is off to a good start. Monfils reached the Metz semifinals last week and so far in Bangkok he has taken out Kevin Anderson and Viktor Troicki. Simon earned a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed before defeating Go Soeda 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday. The world No. 19 is a solid 36-20 for the year. Look for Simon to wear down his opponent with consistency and survive in three sets.

    (1) Janko Tipsarevic vs. (5) Fernando Verdasco

    Verdasco and Tipsarevic will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers (all on hard courts) when they battle for a semifinal spot. Tipsarevic has a 3-2 edge in the head-to-head series after after scoring a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory last summer at the Toronto Masters. The ninth-ranked Serb is a considerable favorite this time, especially based on current form. He owns a 49-19 record for his 2012 campaign, having downed Hiroki Moriya 6-4, 6-4 in his tournament opener on Wednesday.

    While Verdasco has not been terrible of late, by no means is he enjoying a banner year. The 23rd-ranked Spaniard is a decent 29-17 following wins this week over Tatsuma Ito and Donald Young. He is through to his first quarterfinal since Umag and first hard-court quarterfinal since Auckland (reached the semifinals of those events). Count on Tipsarevic advancing after two competitive sets.

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