Friday, February 5, 2016

Brown stuns Simon, Millman advances in Montpellier

Dustin Brown, serving in the final of the
$50,000 Fairfield Challenger last October,
upset 15th-ranked Gilles Simon on the
ATP World Tour. Photo by Paul Bauman
  Two players who starred in Northern California Challengers last year recorded big victories on Thursday in the second round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on the elite ATP World Tour.
   Dustin Brown, a 31-year-old German qualifier, surprised third-seeded and 15th-ranked Gilles Simon of France 6-4, 6-4.
   Meanwhile, John Millman of Australia reached his first ATP quarterfinal with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.
   Brown was the runner-up to U.S. sensation Taylor Fritz in the $50,000 Fairfield Challenger last October. Fritz was 17 at the time.
   Last August, Millman became the first No. 1 seed in the 28-year history of the Aptos Challenger to win the title.
   The mercurial Brown, who has a Jamaican father and wears dreadlocks down to his waist, achieved his biggest victory since defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon for the second time last June.
   Simon extended top-ranked and eventual champion Novak Djokovic to five sets in the fourth round of last month's Australian Open.
   Roger-Vasselin had ousted fifth-seeded Gael Monfils of France 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the first round. Monfils won the inaugural title in 2010 and in 2014.
   Brown, ranked No. 133, will face No. 107 Ruben Bemelmans, a Belgian left-hander who advanced to his first ATP quarterfinal since losing to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic at Vienna in October 2013.
   Wild cards Bemelmans and Laurynas Grigelis of Lithuania won the Aptos doubles title in 2014.
   Millman, 26, will play 34-year-old Paul-Henri Mathieu, who upset fourth-seeded Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 in an all-French matchup. Mathieu is ranked No. 93 but climbed as high as No. 12 in 2008.
   Win or lose, the 78th-ranked Millman will crack the top 70 in the world for the first time on Monday.
   All seeds have been eliminated in the bottom half of the draw, where Millman is situated.

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