Three-time champion Gilles Simon reached the semifinals of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Friday, while top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic was eliminated.
The second-seeded Simon extended his unbeaten streak at the clay-court tournament to 16 matches by ousting Daniel Brands of Germany 6-1, 7-5. The 10th-ranked Tipsarevic lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.
Simon converted four of his five break points, and said ''it was a perfect start for me. ... I didn't miss any easy shots in the first four games. Then I got a little bit tight and played more defensive.''
Simon beat Fabio Fognini of Italy in last year's final, and also won back-to-back titles here in 2007 and 2008.
Simon will meet big-serving Czech Lukas Rosol, who downed eighth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-1.
In the other semifinal, Garcia-Lopez will meet fifth-seeded German Florian Mayer, who ousted Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-3, 7-6 (3).