Simon withdraws from Sydney
Gilles Simon was the third high-profile Frenchman to withdraw from the Sydney International on Wednesday but says the Australian Open is still within his sights.
The world No 16 pulled out with a recurring neck problem, and following the earlier withdrawals of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, he became the third French seed to withdraw from the Sydney tournament.
Simon said he felt the injury when playing doubles with compatriot Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Tuesday, and doesn't want to take any chances.
The French second seed, who won the Sydney International two years ago, said: "I made a bad move yesterday playing in the doubles during the tie-break and it's not the first time it's happened to me.
"I knew it would be complicated today but I did a lot of treatment yesterday and this morning.
"I feel better, but not good enough to go on the court and take my chances.
"I have time if I don't have any complications. It's really difficult for three or four days so it should be right although it's not the best preparation for the Open."
Simon said there was some compensation after the French withdrawals as Benneteau had to play only four points to make it to the quarter-finals.
Benneteau went through to the last eight when his Czech opponent Radek Stepanek withdrew with a strained upper back at 40-15 on the Frenchman's serve in the opening game.