Berdych, Simon reach semis at Open Sud
MONTPELLIER, France (AP) -- Tomas Berdych, Gilles Simon, defending champion Gael Monfils and Philipp Kohlschreiber reached the semifinals at the Open Sud de France.
Berdych, seeded first, finished off Nicolas Mahut of France with his 14th ace Friday, winning 6-3, 6-4. Simon, seeded second, edged wild card Guillaume Rufin 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-2 in an all-French quarterfinal.
Simon will play another Frenchman in the semis when he faces third-seeded Monfils, who cruised past Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-3, 6-3. Nieminen won the Sydney International last month.
Kohlschreiber, seeded seventh, served 18 aces in defeating fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The German will next play Berdych. This is Kohlschreiber's second semifinal this season following last month's Heineken Open in New Zealand.
Berdych outplayed Mahut in the first set, with the Czech making only two unforced errors. Mahut fought back in the second, but the Frenchman double-faulted to give the 2010 Wimbledon finalist a 4-3 lead.
Simon won when a backhand from Rufin sailed long. Rufin was hurt by his serve in the final set, double-faulting five times and making only 38 percent of his first attempts.
Simon took the first set tiebreaker on a forehand error from Rufin. Rufin hit two consecutive forehand winners to lead 6-2 in the second tiebreaker and evened the match at one set apiece when Simon netted a backhand.
Monfils broke serve twice to win the first set when Nieminen sent a backhand volley into the net. Nieminen hit a forehand wide to trail 3-1 in the second set. Monfils did not face a break point and won when Nieminen netted a backhand return.