Simon out but Gasquet through

  • Last Updated: February 9 2013, 8:46 GMT

Third seed Richard Gasquet fought off a comeback from countryman Julien Benneteau to reach the semi-finals of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

Richard Gasquet: Rallied in the deciding set to beat Julien Benneteau
Richard Gasquet: Rallied in the deciding set to beat Julien Benneteau

Frenchman Gasquet was pulled back to a set-all by Benneteau before pulling through 6-1 4-6 6-1 against the fifth seed.

Benneteau required lengthy treatment to his back in the third set and was clearly impeded thereafter.

Gasquet will take on Jarkko Nieminen of Finland for a place in the final after he battled past Sergiy Stakhovsky 4-6 6-3 7-6.

The latter led 3-1 in the decider but Nieminen broke back to level and then had the chance to serve it out at 6-5, only to be broken again, before going through 7-2 in the breaker.

There was a surprise in the bottom half of the draw as fourth seed Gilles Simon went out 7-5 7-6 to fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire.

"It's not easy to play a friend, we were both very tense on the court," said Paire. "I'm happy that I managed to stay focused on my match."

The eighth seed will take on another home hope in Michael Llodra, who easily overcame Czech Jan Hajek 7-6 6-1 with the help of 11 aces.