Gasquet into semis; Simon ousted in France

Third-seeded French star Richard Gasquet snuck into the semifinals, while rising Frenchman Benoit Paire upset fellow countryman Gilles Simon in Friday's quarterfinal action at the Open Sud de France tennis event.

The world No. 10 Gasquet got past quality sixth-seeded fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 to set-up a final four meeting with Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen.

Gasquet captured this event in Lyon in 2006, while Benneteau was a runner- up in 2008 in Lyon.

The eighth-seeded world No. 43 Paire dismissed the fourth-seeded 14th-ranked Simon 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour, 47 minutes on the indoor hardcourts at Montpellier's Park & Suites Arena.

The 23-year-old Paire's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be another compatriot, Michael Llodra, who handled Czech Jan Hajek 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 on Day 4.

The left-handed crowd favorite Llodra was a runner-up at this event in 2009 in Lyon.

Another quarterfinal saw the aforementioned Nieminen overcome Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).