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France’s Gilles Simon started off his campaign at the Mercedes Cup with a 6-3, 6-4 win over local favourite Phillip Petzschner.
Petzschner earned one more break point chance than his opponent during the one hour, 14-minute match but only managed to convert two of eight break point opportunities while dropping his own serve four times.
World No.7 Simon is making his third appearance in Stuttgart, with his best result coming in 2005 where he reached the third round (l. to Zabaleta). The 24 year-old had a great season in 2008, winning titles in Casablanca and Bucharest, but is still attempting to win his first in 2009. His best performance on clay this year was in Estoril where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Montanes).