Bangkok: Third-seeded Gilles Simon was pushed hard before finally beating Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the Thailand Open on Wednesday.
The 2009 champion struggled against Lu's net play and after losing the first set on a tiebreaker, he found himself a break down at 4-2 in the second set.
Simon fought back to level at 4-4 before a Lu double fault handed him a crucial break and the Frenchman served out to level the match.
A backhand winner gave Simon the first break of the deciding set in the ninth game and the No. 12-ranked Frenchman sealed the victory after two hours, 24 minutes.
"He was playing amazing tennis," Simon said of Lu. "He did not miss, hit hard, served well and volleyed really nice. I have to bring the maximum in every point to win."
Simon will meet Matthias Bachinger in the quarterfinals on Friday. The unseeded German beat Danai Udomchoke of Thailand, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
The tournament will be officially declared open on Thursday by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. That will be followed by top-seeded Andy Murray's opening match against Michael Berrer of Germany.
"I beat him at the French Open this year but he plays better on a fast surface," Murray said. "He plays left-handed which makes it more difficult. But I will try to do my best."