Paire among three French players in semis

Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:13 PM

MONTPELLIER, France, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Benoit Paire upset countryman Gilles Simon in a tight two-set match Friday in quarterfinal play of the Open Sud de France tennis tournament.

Paire, the No. 8 seed, ousted the fourth-seeded Simon 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) by fighting off eight of 10 break points. He did drop serve once in each set but had two breaks in the first set to take the lead and used the other to force a tiebreaker, which he won.

Paire was one of three French players to gain semifinal berths. Third-seeded Richard Gasquet and unseeded Michael Llodra will also be on Saturday's schedule.

Gasquet, like Paire, defeated a French player, stopping sixth-seeded Julien Benneteau 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. He had three breaks and took about two-thirds of the points in each the first and third sets.

Llodra handled Jan Hajek 7-6 (7-3), 6-1, saving the only break point he saw. He dropped just 15 points in nine service games.

In the other quarterfinal, Jarkko Nieminen got by Sergiy Stakhovsky 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9-2). Each player had three breaks, including two by both in the third set before the decisive tiebreaker.

The all-French semifinal pitting Paire versus Llodra will mark the first time they will have played an ATP match. Gasquet owns a 4-1 career edge in matches against Nieminen, his semifinal foe.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
A-Rod, New York Yankees negotiating compromise over HR bonus
Report: QB Miller to stay at Ohio State
Venable, San Diego Padres pass St. Louis Cardinals
Sacramento Kings trade Stauskas, Landry, Thompson to Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks, Afflalo agree to terms