MARRAKECH, Morocco — Gilles Simon beat Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (5) in an erratic all-French match featuring 12 breaks of serve to reach the Grand Prix Hassan II second round on Monday.
Although Simon had no aces and double-faulted four times, he returned better and broke the sixth-seeded Paire's serve seven times from eight chances.
Simon, who won the clay-court tournament in 2008 when it was in Casablanca, beat his countryman for the fifth time in eight career meetings.
Fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France also reached the second round.
Gasquet had six aces in a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win against Thomas Fabbiano, and is 2-0 against the Italian player.