5 November 2015 Defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated 14th seed Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5 on Thursday to reach the last 8 at the Paris Masters.
The one hour, 36-minute affair saw Novak convert seven of his nine break point opportunities, having saved five of 10 break points he faced. Djokovic is now 9-1 in ATP Head2Head match-ups with the Frenchman.
Simon broke in the third game, but Novak bounced back to take the opening set in 35 minutes. The players had traded breaks in the first seven games of the second set, when Nole finally held for 5-3. He was serving for victory at 5-4, but could not close it out. The 28-year-old Serb sealed the win two games later, improving to 75-5 W/L record on the year.
“In sport there are days when you just lose your rhythm. You’re trying a bit too much and you lose a bit of confidence,” the world no.1 said. “It was frustrating, losing four service games in a set… It hasn’t happened to me for a long time. I returned well the entire match. I didn’t give him too much room to improve his game. I feel like I have a good chance from the baseline against anyone.”
“I was trying to be patient in constructing points, but yet aggressive when I needed to. My serve was not working well, my forehand in certain parts of second set, as well. [I had] many unforced errors as well. It happens. Those kind of days happen, I just managed to hold my nerves in the right moments.”
On his upcoming opponent: [Both Tsonga and Berdych] have a better service than Gilles. [Both also] I think have more power from their groundstrokes, especially from the forehand side. So I’m going to have to adjust tactically to my next opponent, because they play kind of a similar game, big serve, big forehand, and try to come to the net. So I’m ready for heavy artillery tomorrow night.
Nole will face Berdych who defeated Tsonga on Friday not before 7.30pm local time
source: novakdjokovic.com;bnpparibasmasters.com; corbis images; getty images