Gilles Simon Downs David Goffin in Moselle Open Metz Opener TBEN | Tennis

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Gilles Simon got off to an impressive start to his latest campaign at the Moselle Open in Metz on Tuesday night, beating 2014 winner David Goffin 6-3, 6-3 in the ATP 250 indoor hard event.

Simon, who earlier this year announced his retirement at the end of the 2022 season, is a three-time champion of the indoor hard court event. He broke Goffin’s serve four times en route to a 93-minute win to take his ATP Head2Head series against the Belgian to 3-3.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and I’m always happy to play against [David], one more time before the end,” Simon said in his court interview. “Before the game I really didn’t have confidence because I know he can play and I’m never sure of the performance I’m going to show on the pitch. But in the end I played a very good game and it was a very nice win.

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“I played very consistently today. From the baseline I had a very good feeling. I missed very few shots and I could be offensive enough to get him in a bit of trouble if he started to get passive. So I think that I played the game I had to play, it was absolutely perfect from start to finish and that’s how I won it.”

Former world No. 6 Simon has struggled for form this year, but took his 500th tour-level win against Steve Johnson in the second round at Roland Garros in May. The next challenge for the 37-year-old if he wants to extend his 22-9 winning record in Metz is a second-round clash against Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

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Unlike tournament veteran Simon, Emil Ruusuvuori made his first appearance in Metz on Tuesday. The world’s number 51 quickly adapted to his environment to fend off the challenge of the #NextGenATP Czech Jiri Lehecka with a 6-4, 6-4 first-round win.

Ruusuvuori was the most dangerous player on his return in his first ATP Head2Head encounter with Lehecka, who reached the semi-finals as a qualifier at his most recent indoor tour-level event in Rotterdam in February. The Finn converted three of seven breakpoint chances into an 89-minute win and booked a second-round clash against seventh-seeded Alexander Bublik or home qualifier Evan Furness.

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Another Frenchman, Arthur Rinderknech, took his first TBEN win on home soil in 2022 on the third attempt with a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win against Jaume Munar. He will face fifth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round, after Zizou Bergs had to withdraw from his first round match against the Georgian. Belgian qualifier Bergs had led fifth seed Basilashvili 6-4, 2-1.

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