- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) - Third-seeded Gilles Simon lost his opening match at the Open Sud de France in straight sets Thursday, struggling to return Dustin Brown’s serves in a 6-4, 6-4 loss.

Simon, who pushed Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic to five sets in the fourth round last month, was broken four times.

Brown had 10 aces, saved both break points he faced and won 83 percent of the points played on his first serve.

“Gilles is a great player and I’ve played against him twice before, and lost,” said the 13th-ranked Brown. “Watching his last matches, and knowing how he plays, I wanted to be aggressive with my serve and my return. I tried not to let him play his strengths.”

Brown next plays Ruben Bemelmans, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 win over Jan-Lennard Struff.

Although Struff had 14 aces, he failed to convert any of his eight break-point chances.

In the evening session, Paul-Henri Mathieu eased past fourth-seeded Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 in an all-French match. Next up for Mathieu will be John Millman of Australia, who beat qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

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