Djokovic levels Davis Cup final with Simon win
Originally published on: 03/12/10 18:41
Novak Djokovic cancelled out France’s 1-0 lead over Serbia in the Davis Cup final with a 6-3 6-1 7-5 victory against Gilles Simon.
Any sense of pressure set on the shoulders of the world No.3 following Gael Monfils’ straight sets victory over Janko Tipsarevic soon dissipated as Djokovic cruised through the contest against the Frenchman, who had no answer for the Serb’s superior fitness and variety, though Djokovic did suffer a short blip when serving for the match.
Simon entered the match having lost his previous five meetings with the 23-year-old at the end of a season blighted by injuries, but he began brightly, playing more like a former world No.6 than a current world No.42 as he stayed with Djokovic for the first six games of the match.
But Djokovic turned the screw in game seven, finally converting his fourth break point to surge ahead, and breaking to love to take the opening set.
From that point, Simon simply wasn’t in Djokovic’s league. Buoyed by the roar of the 16,000-strong Belgrade Arena crowd and serving superbly, the Serb raced through the second set and broke early in the third as he marched towards victory.
But the occasion finally took its toll as Djokovic served for the match, allowing two match points to slip from his grasp as Simon, playing with greater freedom than at any other point in the match, stole a break back to level the set at 5-5.
The pressure turned on the Frenchman, however, who gave up the break with a loose game, and Djokovic made no mistake at the second time of asking, sealing the rubber after two hours and 15 minutes.