Two-time Open 13 champion Simon avoids upset against Hoang

Fabio Fognini wins Monte Carlo title after beating Dusan Lajovic

Antoine Hoang reeled off five straight games to take the opening set against Gilles Simon, but the 34-year-old rallied to advance.

Gilles Simon had to come from a set down to avoid seeing his bid for a third Open 13 title come unstuck in the first around against fellow Frenchman Antoine Hoang.

Sixth seed Simon lost five games in a row to surrender the opening set, but he broke at the right time in the second and third to seal a 5-7 6-3 6-3 victory over the wildcard on Monday.

“I expected a tough match and I’m very happy that I won. I’ve won a couple of matches after being a set and a break down, so I didn’t feel like I was close to losing,” said Simon, winner of the tournament in 2007 and 2015.

Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is seeded first and will begin his tilt in Marseille against Hubert Hurkacz. The Pole sent down 13 aces as he defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-2.

Mikhail Kukushkin overcame Denis Kudla 6-3 6-3, meaning he will face fourth seed Denis Shapovalov in round two.

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