Roger Federer believes the uncharacteristic play of Novak Djokovic in the fourth round wasn’t the product of ‘bad luck’ alone, but also the skills of French veteran Gilles Simon.
Djokovic punched his ticket to the quarterfinal round of the Australian Open but not before surviving a five-set duel with Simon. The match saw the Serb committing 100 unforced errors.
Federer didn’t seem very surprised to learn Djokovic having a hard time fending off Simon, knowing the playing style of the Frenchman after years of battle with him on the ATP Tour.
“How many did Gilles Simon play? I’m just wondering, because I think people miss the point of him. He plays every match, like, that. He forces you to make mistakes. He makes you go for the lines and he runs down a lot of balls,” Federer told reporters via Tennis World USA.
Federer, who dropped his first two encounters with Simon before winning the next six games, thinks Simon should also be credited for giving Djokovic a tough fourth-round match. He insists the 100 unforced errors committed by the world’s top netter in the match weren’t products of bad luck, but Simon’s ability as well.
“The question is if you have 50, 100, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter as long as you win. I just listen to people talking like he had a horrible day. Of course he can play better, but on the other side, you have somebody who has the fastest legs and who knows exactly what he’s doing out there, and it worked almost to the very end. So it was very close for Novak, and he knows that.”
Federer and Djokovic are one win away towards setting up a much anticipated Australian Open semifinals. Federer will face Tomas Berdych while Djokovic takes on Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the other quarters pairing.
Photo courtesy of AFP