Djokovic claims final place
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:09
World number nine Simon grabbed a tight first set with a single break, but an animated Djokovic roared back and despite also only grabbing a lone break, deservedly earned a decider.
The Serbian’s momentum continued as he broke Simon to take a 3-1 third set lead, and after the Frenchman levelled at 5-5, the world number three wrapped up the win in two hours and 51 minutes.
After coming back from 0-30 down to hold his opening service game, Simon grabbed a 2-1 lead with a break of the Djokovic serve after the Serbian let slip a two-point cushion.
Djokovic fought hard to hold the seventh game and survived four set points at 5-3 on his own serve but after Simon fired his first ace to bring up set point number five, Djokovic miscued an attempted drop shot and the Frenchman claimed the first set in 47 minutes.
Simon battled to hold at the start of the second set as he needed an ace and a wayward forehand from Djokovic to level at 1-1 after missing a backhand volley at 15-30.
But the Frenchman handed Djokovic a break in his next error-strewn service game as Simon double-faulted, his second of the game, at break point as the Serbian took a 3-1 lead and after just under an hour of a sometimes brilliant second set, Djokovic held to level the contest as Simon pushed a return wide.
Djokovic, after catching a fortunate net cord of his own during the third game, claimed an early break as Simon’s forehand caught the top of the net and looped long.
Simon survived triple break points in game five and another after fighting back to deuce to cut Djokovic’s lead to 3-2 and again had to come from behind to hold game seven.
And in the 10th game Simon grabbed the break back as Djokovic double faulted on break point but the Serbian hit straight back as he pushed Simon wide and the Frenchman directed a forehand low into the net before Djokovic converted his first of two match points.