Bucharest, Romania (Sports Network) - Reigning champion Gilles Simon was a hard-fought second-round winner Wednesday at the $535,000 Nastase Tiriac Trophy tennis event.
The second-seeded Frenchman overcame veteran Finnish left-hander Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on the red clay at BNR Arenas.
Simon beat Italian Fabio Fognini in last year's Bucharest finale and also titled here back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.
In other second-round action, big-hitting Czech Lukas Rosol upended third- seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and eighth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki avoided an upset by leveling German Tobias Kamke 6-4, 6-2.
On Thursday, top-seeded Serbian star Janko Tipsarevic will open his week against Colombian Santiago Giraldo in a second-round affair.