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Gilles Simon fight backs to win his Nottingham opener, saving three match points in the second set.

Simon Saves 3 M.P. In Nottingham Battle; Lopez Extends Streak

Former finalist Gilles Simon and defending champion Feliciano Lopez advance in contrasting fashion

Second seed Gilles Simon looked in danger of joining top seed David Ferrer as second-round casualties Tuesday at the Aegon Open Nottingham before battling back for a marathon win.

The Frenchman saved three match points down 4-5 in the second set and rallied from down a break early in the third to overcome Spain’s Marcel Granollers 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(0).

At three hours and 10 minutes, it marked the third-longest best-of-three sets match this season. Granollers had come up on the winning end of the longest match, when he prevailed against Gael Monfils in three hours and 20 minutes last month at the Mutua Madrid Open.

It also marked the eighth longest best-of-three sets match on grass:

Match Time (in mins)
2012 Olympics
3-6, 7-6, 19-17
2012 Olympics
6-3, 3-6, 25-23
1991 Manchester
6-7, 6-4, 7-5
1991 Queen's
6-7, 6-3, 6-2
1992 Queen's
5-7, 6-2, 15-13
2003 Halle
7-5, 6-7, 7-6
1992 Queen's
1-6, 7-6, 10-8
2015 Nottingham
4-6, 7-6, 7-6
2006 Nottingham
7-6, 6-7, 7-6

Simon, who finished runner-up to Feliciano Lopez two years ago at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court event, will next meet No. 14 seed Joao Sousa. The Portuguese No. 1 also triumphed in a third set tie-break, defeating Australian Sam Groth 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(3).

Feliciano Lopez extended his tournament winning streak to 10 matches as he defeated American wild card Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-3 in 59 minutes. Lopez won the past two editions of this event, held in Eastbourne.

Against Fritz, the No. 3 seed lost just five points on serve and converted three of his 11 break point chances.

The Spaniard next plays Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over No. 15 seed Andreas Seppi.

Alexandr Dolgopolov, who last week upset Rafael Nadal at the Queen’s Club, prevailed against 11th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 in two hours and 20 minutes.

American Tim Smyczek came back strong Tuesday, after rain suspended his match against British wild card James Ward late in the second set the previous evening. He rallied to win 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-1 in two hours, but fell later in his second-round match against No. 16 seed Jiri Vesely 6-1, 6-3.

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