Frenchman Gilles Simon defeated Michael Mmoh 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round of the Australian Open on Court 13 to progress to the second round. He awaits the winner of Jared Donaldson or Rogerio Dutra Da Silva.
Simon races away to a set lead
Both players started the match by holding their serve with the set at 1-1. Just two games later, Mmoh hit a forehand long of the baseline with a break point going the way of Simon. The American hit a forehand wide to gift the break to Simon. Mmoh showed fighting spirit in the next game bringing up a break back point at 30-40. Despite dominating the rally, it was the Frenchman who ventured forwards towards the net and hit a volley winner to bring the game to deuce. A second break point was missed by the 19-year-old as the 32-year-old finished off with a forehand winner for a 4-1 lead.
Errors began creeping into the youngster game as well as his serve letting down, hitting a double-fault to present a double break opportunity to his opponent. A timely unreachable first serve down the line brought the game to deuce, however, just a couple points after Simon brought a second break point up and broke following an unforced error by Mmoh. Simon earned his first set point, serving out wide with the return hitting the net. A forehand winner in the very next game saw the set go to Simon, 6-1.
Simon comes from an early break behind to go two sets up
The teenager started the set in good form. He held serve relatively comfortable than forced the error from his opponent after coming out on top of a baseline exchange. A forehand passing shot in the next game allowed Mmoh to break for the first time in the match. However, he struggled to hold on to that lead with the Frenchman applying pressure, gaining two break points at 15-40 with an overhead smash. The 25th seed fired a forehand into the corner of the net which was returned into the net as he broke back.
The following game saw Mmoh temporarily with a break point but was saved as Simon consolidated to bring the set level at 2-2. The world number 25 only grew stronger in the set and with the score tied at 3-3, Mmoh hit an unforced error and was facing triple break points, which he couldn't save and fell behind for the first time this set at 4-3. The Frenchman held serve for 5-3. Serving to stay in the set, Simon grabbed a break/set point with a forehand winner. He sealed the set 6-3 on the very next point with the world number 190 finding the net once more.
Simon clinches lone break advances to round two
Three holds of serve at the start of the set saw Simon with a 2-1 lead. The American then served a double fault to bring up a set point for the Frenchman. Mmoh managed to save the first point but couldn't save another with Simon going ahead at 3-1. Looking comfortable, Simon held serve to take a 4-1 lead.
With three games passed by, Mmoh rallied one more time as he tried to make the third set competitive. He brought up a break point chance at 30-40. Simon quickly snuffed out the point by hitting a forehand winner bringing the game to deuce. He then hit a good serve which brought up a match point. He needed only one chance to put the game to bed, advancing to the second round in one hour 50 minutes.