Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Tennis [Print without images]

Monday, October 31, 2011
Nikolay Davydenko advances

Associated Press

VALENCIA, Spain -- Nikolay Davydenko beat fifth-seeded Gilles Simon 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday in the first round of the Valencia Open.

Davydenko controlled the match at the City of Arts and Sciences despite dropping the second set.

The 36th-ranked Russian rallied in the decisive set with a forehand winner for a break point and 2-1 lead. Davydenko saved a break point through a drop shot in the sixth game before breaking Simon for the fourth time in the match to secure a second victory in seven meetings against the 12th-ranked Simon.

Simon trails eighth-ranked American Mardy Fish by 720 points with only the Paris Masters to play before the season-ending tour finals in London. Only the top eight qualify for the Nov. 20-27 tournament in London.

Davydenko will next face French player Nicolas Mahut, who ousted Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (5), 6-2.

In Monday's late match, Vasek Pospisil of Canada needed more than two hours to beat John Isner of the United States 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9).

Isner bounced back from a shaky first set to hit nine of his 19 aces in the second, but Pospisil outlasted the hard-serving American in the third-set tiebreaker.

Italian player Fabio Fognini also advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over wild card Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

Defending champion David Ferrer is seeded No. 1 in Valencia, and begins his defense on Tuesday against fellow Spanish player Fernando Verdasco. French players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils are also in first-round action at the Agora complex on Tuesday.