Simon's London hopes dented by loss in Valencia
Nikolay Davydenko beat fifth-seeded Gilles Simon 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Valencia Open.
Valencia: 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 November 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 wildcard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
Defending champion David Ferrer is seeded No. 1 in Valencia, and begins his defence 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.