Ferrer beaten in Montpellier, Simon edges through

Ferrer beaten in Montpellier, Simon edges through MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 15: David Ferrer of Spain plays a backhand in his first round match against Andrey Rublev of Russia on day one of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 15, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Pat Scala/Getty Images)

David Ferrer made a first-round exit at the Open Sud de France Tuesday, while Gilles Simon battled through.

Ferrer, who has slipped to 39th in the rankings, went down to 21-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in Montpellier.

The Spanish seventh seed, a semi-finalist in Auckland to begin the year, was beaten after two hours and 28 minutes.

Julien Benneteau, a finalist in 2008, went out 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Ricardas Berankis but Simon beat qualifier Yannick Maden 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-3) and Jeremy Chardy overcame promising Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6 7-5 7-5.

Carlos Taberner was also a victor over Norbert Gombos in a battle of two qualifiers.

At the Sofia Open, sixth seed Viktor Troicki came through a stern test from qualifier Ernests Gulbis to win 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3.

Martin Klizan beat Alexander Donski 7-5 6-1 to set up a second-round clash with Stan Wawrinka and there were also wins for Denis Istomin, Mirza Basic and Jozef Kovalik.

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