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Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday improves to 3-2 against Gilles Simon in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.


Spaniard to play winner between No. 23 Muller and Jaziri

Pablo Carreno Busta became the first player to advance to the third round at the 2018 Australian Open when Tata Open Maharashtra champion Gilles Simon retired while trailing 2-6, 0-3.

Carreno Busta reaches his fifth consecutive Grand Slam third round, after reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open, respectively last year. Simon led 2-1 in the first set and held a total of four break points in Carreno Busta’s first two service games, but the No. 10 seed won the next eight games before Simon retired.

The pair entered their second-round encounter with an even 2-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head series record, with Simon winning their only previous match on hard court in straight sets (2016 Shanghai). The Frenchman entered the season’s first major with momentum after earning his first ATP World Tour title since the 2015 Open 13 Marseille (d. Monfils). In Pune, Simon beat three Top 20 players in the ATP Rankings, including World No. 6 Marin Cilic in the semi-finals.

Carreno Busta will play the winner between No. 23 seed Gilles Muller and Malek Jaziri. While Muller defeated Carreno Busta at the 2015 Australian Open, the Spaniard beat Luxembourg’s star player in last season’s Millennium Estoril Open final to win one of his three ATP World Tour titles. He also leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1 against the crafty left-hander.

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