Three-time champ Simon reaches Bucharest QFs

Reigning champion Gilles Simon was a hard-fought second-round winner Wednesday at the $535,000 Nastase Tiriac Trophy tennis event.

The second-seeded Frenchman overcame veteran Finnish left-hander Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours, 39 minutes on the red clay at BNR Arenas.

Simon beat Italian Fabio Fognini in last year's Bucharest finale and also titled here back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. His quarterfinal opponent on Friday will be German Daniel Brands.

In other second-round action, big-hitting Czech Lukas Rosol upended third- seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, eighth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki avoided an upset by leveling German Tobias Kamke 6-4, 6-2, and Brands was leading wild card Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-1), 2-0 when the oft-injured Frenchman retired on Day 3 due to a lower back problem. Troicki will battle Rosol in the round of eight.

On Thursday, top-seeded Serbian star Janko Tipsarevic will open his week against Colombian Santiago Giraldo in a second-round affair.