at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Bangkok – 2009 Thailand Open winner Gilles Simon of France continued to struggle with a shoulder injury but managed a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Japan's Go Soeda on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals.
Australian Bernard Tomic, seeded eighth, struggled in his own way as he played a tennis replica of himself, coming out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 second-round winner over Israeli opponent Dudi Sela after nearly two and a half hours.
Tomic, whose own game gives opponents no chance to find their rhythm, found he was facing a mirror image of himself - and the 19-year-old admitted that he didn't like it one bit.
“It was difficult to play aggressive against him, he gives you all kinds of stuff – like I do. I guess that's why guys don't like to play me.
“He gives you a lot of low balls that I don't like. It was tight in the second and third sets, I was too defensive in the first set, but he doesn't give you the chance to play aggressive with his style.
“It was tough for me, he's been around and is tough to play,” said Tomic, who has now reached the quarter-finals in just four of his 22 tournaments in 2012.
The Aussie, who is ranked 41st and the only teenager in the ATP top 50, will play for the semi-finals against either French second seed Richard Gasquet or Grigor Dimitrov.
Simon said that his long, slow recovery form a shoulder injury is still taking a toll on his game as he faced Soeda, a 2011 Bangkok quarter-finalist.
“I'm not serving my best and that makes life difficult,” said the 19th-ranked Simon. “I don't get any easy points, I have to fight every point form the baseline.
“I think we played a great match, all things considered. I had to play incredible from the baseline, I'm just happy to get through this one. My shoulder is slowly getting better, but I must continue to play this way for now.” – Sapa-AFP