Tennis-Frenchman Simon suffers early exit in Monte Carlo

MONTE CARLO, April 15 Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:34pm BST

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MONTE CARLO, April 15 (Reuters) - Last year's semi-finalist Gilles Simon suffered a shock 6-3 7-6 loss to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the Monte Carlo Masters first round on Monday.

Roared on by the crowd, the 11th-seeded Frenchman saved five match points in the tiebreak before handing his opponent victory with a netted backhand.

Simon has struggled on clay this year, also losing the decisive match when France lost to Argentina in the Davis Cup quarter-finals last weekend.

Bautista Agut, 59th in the world rankings, secured his first win in a Masters series tournament.

(Reporting by Gregory Blachier; Editing by Ed Osmond)