BRISBANE  - Second seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon cruised into the second round of the Brisbane International with a comfortable straight sets win over American Ryan Sweeting on Monday.

Despite losing his first service game, the world number 12 was never in any trouble as he moved to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the big-serving Sweeting. Simon has flown under the radar, with most of the attention focused on Britain’s top seed Andy Murray.

But after a superb 2011, during which he won two ATP tournaments and took his ranking from 41 to 12, Simon showed he cannot be discounted this week. “For the first match of the season I think I played some good tennis,” he said.

“The conditions (on the outside court) were very hard, with the sun very low and a little bit of noise also, so it was hard to focus. But I felt better and better throughout the match and had no problems until I was down a break point at the very end.” Simon said his goal this year was to return to the top 10 for the first time since 2009, when he reached number six before suffering a knee injury.