METZ, September 22, 2016
The remaining four second round matches were on Thursday’s schedule at the Moselle Open. Second seed David Goffin opened his Metz campaign with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jan-Lennard Struff.
The world number 14 from Belgium, who won their last meeting in the semi-finals here two years ago en route to the title, didn’t face a break point and broke the German’s serve three times to advance in 66 minutes. Goffin will next face eighth seed Nicolas Mahut, who eased past Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4.
Third favourite Lucas Pouille, who is playing his first tournament since reaching the quarterfinals at the US Open earlier this month, emerged victorious from the all-French-battle with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, winning 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. The 22-year-old Dubai resident comes in a career-high world number 18 in the Emirates ATP Rankings,withstood 17 aces, hitting 13 of his own and saved all of the three break points he faced to finish the encounter after one hour and 55 minutes.
The tournament’s number four Gilles Simon has won 12 of his past 13 matches in Metz, winning the titles in 2010 and 2013, also advanced to the stage of the final eight. The 31-year-old Frenchman gained his sixth win over Guillermo Garcia-López in as many meetings between the two, winning 6-7, 6-3, 6-4. Simon sent down eight aces and capitalized on five of his 14 break point opportunities to prevail in two hours and 39 minutes.
“It was very tough today, the conditions to play are nice but very slow. It is difficult to finish the points,” Simon told after the battle.
Next up for Simon is Malek Jaziri. The champion of last week’s ATP Challenger event in Istanbul rallied from a set down to beat French qualifier Vincent Millot 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes.