Simon stunned by Bedene

Stunning comeback from Paire to reach Winston-Salem final

Top seed Gilles Simon was dumped out of the Winston-Salem Open on Tuesday after losing a gruelling 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-7 (8) second-round encounter with Britain's Aljaz Bedene.

The Frenchman was making his debut at the tournament, but it is not one that he will remember fondly as he lost out in an epic clash that lasted nearly three hours.

The pair exchanged breaks early in the opening set before Bedene broke Simon for a second time to go 5-3 up. Serving for the set Bedene came unstuck though, with Simon breaking back to set up a tiebreak.

Neither player had much success on their own serve in the breaker, but it was Simon who eventually edged ahead 7-5.

The second set sew both Simon and Bedene find more consistency on their serve, and the result was that each player faced just one break point in the set – but both were converted as the set progressed to a tiebreak. 

It was Bedene who was able to gain the advantage in the tiebreaker and forced a decider after wrapping up the tiebreak 9-7.

Bedene seized the initiative early in the third set, breaking Simon in the second game. However, the Frenchman bounced back to win five out of the next six games to take a 5-3 lead before Bedene launched a counter-attack of his own by breaking Simon in the 10th game.

And so a third tiebreak was needed to determine a winner. As had been the case throughout the match, the tiebreak swayed from one man to the next before it was Bedene who eventually made the decisive move, converting his second match point.

Simon was not the only seeded player to be eliminated in the second round as fourth seed Viktor Troicki, fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, seventh seed Sam Querrey, ninth seed Benoit Paire, 10th seed Joao Sousa, 12th seed Pablo Andujar and 14th seed Marcos Baghdatis all lost their respective matches. 

Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Steve Johnson, Thomaz Bellucci, Jiri Vesely, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Jerzy Janowicz and Kevin Anderson progressed to the third round after triumphing in their respective second round matches.