Simon, Gasquet reach Montpellier quarters

Montpellier, France ( - Former top-10 Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet were a pair of second-round winners Wednesday at the Open Sud de France tennis event.

The second-seeded Simon handled fellow countryman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-3, while the fourth-seeded former champion Gasquet grounded wild card compatriot Lucas Pouille 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) at Montpellier Arena.

Gasquet captured this tournament in Lyon in 2006 and in Montpellier two years ago and was last year's runner-up to fellow French star and fellow two-time winner Gael Monfils.

Two more second-round results saw fifth-seeded 6-foot-8 Pole Jerzy Janowicz hold off France's Benoit Paire 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and seventh-seeded rising Portuguese Joao Sousa come from behind to beat German Tobias Kamke 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Paire was the Montpellier runner-up two years ago.

Janowicz will battle Simon in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The first round concluded with a pair of matches, as sixth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan moved on when Tunisian Malek Jaziri retired with an elbow injury despite winning the first set 6-3 and Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis drilled Japanese Tatsuma Ito 6-2, 6-2.

On Thursday, the top-seeded four-time finalist Monfils will open defense of his title with a second-round match against fellow Frenchman Kenny De Schepper.

The 2015 Montpellier champion will earn $90,000.