By Niall Clarke
- Aljaz Bedene defeats Gilles Simon in three sets
- The British number two came through (5)6-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(6)
- He will face Pierre Hugues-Herbert in the third round
WINSTON SALEM, USA- British number two Aljaz Bedene upset top seed Gilles Simon in the second round of the Winston Salem Open to book his place in the third round.
Bedene, 26, came through a tight three setter and saved two match points to defeat the world number 11 (5)6-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in a long three hour battle.
There were breaks aplenty in the opening set. Simon was the first to drop serve, but the Frenchman broke straight back the following game. It happened again in the latter stages of the first set, with Bedene failing to take a set point on serve at 5-4.
A tiebreak was needed to separate these two and even then the players struggled on serve. There were seven mini breaks, but in the end the crucial one went the way of Simon who was able to wrap the breaker up 7-5.
Again a break of serve could not be consolidated in the second set, only this time it was the Frenchman who broke serve only immediately throw away the advantage. In the tiebreaker this time there were less breaks of serve, five to be exact, and it would be Bedene who claimed the crucial point to level the score.
With momentum behind him, the Slovenian born Brit broke early in the third set, but as we come accustomed to seeing in this match, the advantage was handed straight back. Simon broke again on Bedene’s next service game and held all the way until 5-3. The Brit faced two match points but saved them on serve before breaking the Frenchman whilst he served for the match.
Fittingly a third tiebreaker was needed to decide the victor. This one went a little longer than the previous two, but like the second set it had the desired result from a British perspective. Bedene needed two match points to seal one of the biggest wins of his career so far.
It was a third victory over a top 20 opponent this year for Slovenia-born Bedene, who was granted British citizenship in March.
The 26 year old will face another Frenchman in the third round in the form of Pierre Hugues-Herbert. The world number 140 defeated Marcos Baghdatis in three sets in the second round.
Elsewhere, there were victories for Kevin Anderson and Jo Wilfried Tsonga. James Ward’s first round opponent Hyeon Chung backed up his victory of the Brit by defeating Benoit Paire in straight sets.
Bedene will play Herbert at approximately 23:00 BST Wednesday night. You can follow the action via the Britwatch Live Scores