ATP Indian Wells: Gilles Simon Defeats Vasek Pospisil In Three Topsy Turvy Sets

Vasek Pospisil and Gilles Simon faced off on Stadium 2 for the second time in nine days. This time, the 16th seeded Frenchman needed three sets to defeat Pospisil and book his spot in round three of the BNP Paribas Open

Pospisil races off to good start

Vasek Pospisil got the match underway by holding. In the following game, the Canadian had break point opportunities at 40-30. Pospisil broke after a lengthy rally saw a mistake of the forehand of Simon. He continued the momentum and consolidated for a 3-0 lead. At 40-15, Simon cracked and served a double fault to hand the game to Pospisil as he took 12 out of the last 13 points.

With the first set almost well and truly over for the 16th seed, he conjured his first break point chances of the set, but failed to take advantage hitting a second serve return in the net. Simon stopped the rut and won his first game of the set. The 25-year-old would go on to clinch the opening set 6-1 with a forehand error of the Simon racket. 

Vasek Pospisil returns a shot against Giles Simon during the BNP Paribas Open (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Vasek Pospisil returns a shot against Giles Simon during the BNP Paribas Open (Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Simon rallies to take the second set in spectacular fashion

Simon got the second set underway by holding comfortably. The match would take a turn when the Frenchman broke to love with brilliant net play. With the momentum now switching the way of the more experienced player, Simon held to love for 0-3 and then immediately found himself with a chance to go up a double break in the set. Pospisil would opt for the serve and volley tactic, but sent the volley long to go down a 0-4 deficit. Pospisil had a chance to get back into the set when he went up 30-40 in the following game, but Simon continued to fight and saved a break.

At this point, Pospisil was beginning to be frustrated by Simon as he won another game. In the next game, the French number three raced away to a 15-40 lead. Pospisil took his anger out by smashing a ball out the stadium which prompted the umpire to give him a warning. Simon would then clinch the set 0-6 with an overhead smash to turn the match on its head.

Simon cruises to victory

At the start of the third, Simon continued his dominance by breaking a frustrated Pospisil in a rally that lasted more than 20 shots. At the end of the point, the Canadian slammed his racket on the floor as the frustration began to grow even further, he was docked a point and the game went to the Frenchman. With Simon 0-2 up in the decider, he dominated the game and consolidated the break.

At the change of ends, Pospisil chucked his bottle on the floor and got a stern talking to from the umpire. You could say at this point Pospisil wasn't happy. With the French in full control of the match, he broke once more for a 0-4 lead. Pospisil would then go on to win his first game in 11 to stop the double bagel. The world number 19 would race to a 0-40 lead. He clinched the match 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 by hitting a brilliant serve in which the Canadian failed to return. 

Match numbers

Vasek Pospisil struggled on serve as he hit 51 percent of his first serves and only 44 percent on his second. The Canadian saved only one of six break point chances and converted 66 percent of his own break point opportunities (two out of six).

Gilles Simon found success on serve winning 70 percent on first and 61 on his second. The French saved 33 percent of break points and took a staggering 5 out of 6 break point chances (83 percent).

What's next?  

With that victory, Gilles Simon will come up against unseeded rising star, Alexander Zverev who defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. They have only met once with the German coming away with the win. Zverev defeated Simon in three sets at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Holland only last month.