Simon, who defeated Victor Hanescu in last year's BCR final, faced only three break points -- and saved them all -- in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Albert Montanes in a second-round match. Simon is seeded second at the clay-court tournament.
However, third-seeded Nicolas Almagro and No. 4-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu were both ousted. Almagro was dumped by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 7-5 in a second-round match and Mathieu was beaten 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, in a first-round match with Ivan Navarro.
Also Wednesday, Carlos Moya advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Pablo Andujar and Florent Serra won 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 over Potito Starace.
Top-seeded Richard Gasquet has a round-of-16 match against Victor Crivoi on Thursday.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]