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By Chris Oddo | Friday, February 13th, 2015

 
Andy Murray and Gilles Simon, Rotterdam

Gilles Simon snapped a 12-match losing streak against Andy Murray in Rotterdam to reach the semifinals.

Photo Source: ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament

Early in the week, many were talking about top seed Andy Murray’s sizzling form. The Scot had not dropped a set en route to the quarterfinals and appeared ready to build on his Australian Open final performance by winning his second ABN Amro World Tennis Title in Rotterdam.

Enter Gilles Simon.

The road-running, backboard-imitating Frenchman took advantage of some early opportunities to build an early double-break lead and never looked back, taking down Murray in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, to reach his third Rotterdam semifinal.

Simon, who had dropped 12 consecutive matches against Murray, and all seven on hard courts, broke on five of six opportunities to down an uninspired and quite erratic Murray. He will move on to face defending champion Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s semifinals.

“I felt my timing was wrong,” Murray, who hit 15 winners against 27 unforced errors on the day, told reporters after the match. “I struggled with a lot of things.”

Murray battled back from 5-2 down in the opener to close to 5-4, deuce, but a spirited Simon rallied to take the final two points to close out the set.

The Scot managed to win only 7 of 26 second serve points on the evening, and Simon repeatedly hammered away at the shot to put the world No. 4 on the defense.

Simon broke again to open the second set and rushed out to a 4-0 lead before Murray would get on the board. But despite the occasional sign of life from Murray, no comeback was in the works. Simon saved a break point in the final game, closing the match on his third match point when Murray netted a forehand.

Earlier in the afternoon, Tomas Berdych won his fourth match in five career tussles with Gael Monfils, 6-1, 6-4. Berdych did not face a break point and won 30 of 34 first-serve points against the Frenchman.

Berdych is bidding to become the fifth player to repeat as Rotterdam champion, and the first since Robin Soderling in 2010-11.

Notes, Quotes, Tweets

Simon owns a 6-3 edge vs. Berdych which includes wins in four of their last five matches.

Simon improves to 27-59 against the top ten with the win.



 

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