Simon grits his way past Fritz to continue fairy-tale farewell at Paris Masters

AP - Michel Euler

And so the farewell turn continues. Gilles Simon, who declared the Paris Masters would be the final tournament of his 20-year professional tennis career, advanced to the last-16 of the competition on Wednesday night with a three-set victory over the ninth seed Taylor Fritz.

It took the 37-year-old Frenchman three hours and six minutes to dispatch the American 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

"You helped me a lot," beamed Simon as he saluted a packed centre court crowd at the Accor Arena in Bercy, south-east Paris.

"When I felt OK, I knew I would have to run for the ball and even when I felt terrible I knew I'd have to go for it as it was potentially my last match."

The partisans cheered the homage.

And yet it was a tie that Fritz appeared to have within his purview.

Chance

In the opening set, the 25-year-old fashioned two set points when Simon was serving to come back to 5-5. But he squandered both.

The veteran then claimed Fritz's service to wrapp up the first set 7-5 after 61 minutes.

Simon broke early in the second set but was immediately reeled in.

He had three more chances to at 5-5 but Fritz dug in and held to lead 6-5.

Unlike in the first set, Fritz exploited his set point to level the match at one set apiece after two hours and 10 minutes.

A tense decider turned in the ninth game in favour of the local hero.

Delight


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Tsitsipas carves up Simon at Australian Open
Zverev downs boy wonder Alcaraz to reach French Open semi-final