by ATP Staff
World No. 13 Gilles Simon advanced to the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday as he defeated Monegasque wild card Benjamin Balleret 6-3, 6-2. The Frenchman converted four of 10 break points and won 71 per cent of points on serve to seal victory in 78 minutes over his No. 337-ranked opponent.
“He has a solid game and he has a very good first serve, so I knew I would have to be careful,” said Simon. “Maybe I tried to do too much in the beginning. After that, I was playing better. It was cold and it took me some time before I could find my rhythm.”
Simon improved to a 14-9 match record on the season, highlighted by reaching the semi-finals at the Brisbane International (l. to Dolgopolov) and the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (l. to Monfils) and a quarter-final showing at the BNP Paribas Openin Indian Wells (l. to Isner).
The 27-year-old Simon is playing at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the sixth time and is bidding to go beyond the third round for the first time. He goes onto face either Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny or a qualifier.
A second Monegasque wild card fell by the way side as Serbia’s Viktor Troickidefeated Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-3, 6-1 in the first round for the second year in a row. The No. 27-ranked Troicki broke serve five times from seven opportunities to defeat Lisnard in 58 minutes.
The 26-year-old Troicki reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final in Monte-Carlo last year (l. to Ferrer) and goes onto face World No. 4 Andy Murray in the second round.