Simon tests knee while Safin bundled out in Bangkok tennis
Bangkok: Gilles Simon of France tested his chronic sore knee with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of American Kevin Kim while retiring Russian Marat Safin ticked up another tournament loss Thursday as he winds down his career at the Thailand Open.
While striking 11 aces to advance easily in 61 minutes, number 10-ranked Simon admitted that he is concerned about just getting through the last two months of a long and gruelling ATP season.
"I'm happy with how I played today. I needed this match as a test of how I'm doing," said Simon, making his Bangkok debut aged 24. "I know that I can play well on this slow court.
"But whether I can do that or not depends on my knee. The doctors say that it needs to rest."
Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli spelled the end of Safin's career run on court in Thailand with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) defeat which the two-time grand slam champion loser insisted had hurt.
"I'm a little disappointed. It should have gone the other way," said the 29-year-old Russian, who will end his career at the Paris Masters next month.
"I missed a volley and then let it slip away.”
"I may be retiring, but I still want to win. I don't want to give away any matches. I really hate to lose," said the veteran, 11-17 in 2009.
Safin had been trying to reach only his second quarter-final of the year after Los Angeles.
Second seed Fernando Verdasco began his week with a defeat of Slovak Karol Beck 6-4, 6-0 while Chile's Fernando Gonzalez defeated Rohan Bopanna of India 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
German Andreas Beck spoiled the good luck of Donald Young, 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, defeating the American who got into the draw when compatriot Sam Querrey cut his arm due to a collapsing glass coffee table at the tournament.
Eighth seed John Isner beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, with the American growing quickly accustomed to conditions on his first trip to Asia.
"I'm very satisfied to go through," said the 24 year-old ranked 48th, who struggled past a Thai teenager in the opening round.
"I feel comfortable on the court and I've gotten used to the time change. At least I'm not falling asleep in the locker room like I did the first few days here.”
"This is a slow court but I like it just fine. I feel I can serve through any court. The surface just gives me more time to prepare my shots."
Simon, who will play Friday in the quarters against either Russian Evgeny Korolev or American Robby Ginepri, said that he remains concerned about his problem knee.
"I had a scan after the US Open and while it's still painful, it's going in a good way. The scan was better than the one I had after Roland Garros.”
"I really need a lot of recovery after my matches. It's a lot of icing and rest. Everything depends on my knee."