By Erik Gudris | Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Novak Djokovic lost his way midway through his opening round match versus Gilles Simon before winning in three sets at Cincinnati.
Photo Credit: Getty
What looked like a routine opening round win proved anything but for Novak Djokovic at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Yet the top seed prevailed to advance into the third round on Tuesday night.
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Djokovic faced off against France's Gilles Simon in his first match since losing early last week to Toronto winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The recent Wimbledon champion fell behind an early break in the opening set before running off four straight games to take it 6-3.
After Djokovic went up a break in the second set, things looked secure for the top seed. That, however, was not the case as Simon raised his level while Djokovic's own deserted him. Simon climbed back to 4-all and then clinched the set on his second set point.
The final set started off with a bang after both players engaged in this thrilling rally.
Simon would eventually hold serve for 1-0 after fighting off six break points.
That started a series of games where both men played great and not so great tennis as they each fought to take the lead. Djokovic would gain the advantage after Simon threw in error after error in the sixth game allowing Djokovic to earn a break lead for 4-3.
Things wouldn't get easier for Djokovic though as he fought off yet another break point against him as he went on to hold for 5-3. Simon responded with a service hold for 5-4. Then, to add to the drama, light rain briefly halted play before Djokovic stepped up to the line to close out the match.
Despite losing his earlier lead, Djokovic went on to serve out the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
"Every day is a new challenge to try to look out for a better game tomorrow and after tomorrow, and hopefully it's going to come," Djokovic said later about his win.
Djokovic is still in the hunt for his first ever title in Cincinnati having been a runner-up four times earlier. If Djokovic wins the tournament, he will complete a "Career Golden Masters" by having won all nine ATP 1000 titles.