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Summary

  1. Novak Djokovic through to quarter-finals
  2. Djokovic beats Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 6-4 4-6 6-3
  3. Djokovic made 100 unforced errors
  4. Match lasted four hours 32 minutes

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All times stated are UK

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Righto, good day to you, that's your lot.

"No more drop-shots!"

Nice touch - a fan cries out during Djokovic's post-match interview and Djokovic breaks off to ask him what he said. "No more drops shots!" comes the reply, prompting Djokovic to say: "I hate to say it, but you're right."

Djokovic finished with exactly 100 unforced errors. I'm not sure what the record is, although Yevgeny Kafelnikov produced 100 in defeating Fernando Vicente in five sets at the 2000 French Open. Remarkably, Daniela Hantuchova once produced 106 in losing to Ashley Harkleroad at the 2003 French Open - in three sets.

Game, set and match

Djokovic 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 Simon

Novak Djokovic celebrates match win
Getty Images

Djokovic gets that forehand working again, thrashing a winner down the line, and follows up with an unreturnable serve for three match points. Sealed with a backhand down the line, the defending champion survives the sternest of tests. 

*Djokovic 5-3 Simon (2-2)

Djokovic wrong-foots Simon with a cross-court forehand for 15-30 before a net cord sends a forehand wide. That was his 97th unforced error, which must be something close to a record. But he carves out a match point, which Simon saves by outlasting him in a baseline exchange. 

Simon is unable to deal with a deep cross-court backhand by Djokovic, bunting into the net, before Novak heaves a forehand long. Two match points saved. 

Nice from Simon, sending Djokovic out wide with a serve before sweeping a forehand winner down the middle. Djokovic gives up the ghost in the middle of a rally when it looked like Simon's backhand was in - correctly, as it turns out - but follows up with a horrible forehand, his 100th unforced error. 

Simon holds! Backhand down the line after another solid serve, good on him. Djokovic, however, serving for the match for the second time.

Russell Fuller

BBC tennis correspondent in Melbourne

"This match and the set turned so quickly in the fourth game when Simon's errors proved critical. Djokovic has played a canny set, his experience has told."

Djokovic 5-2 Simon* (2-2)

Giles Simon celebrates point
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Simon hasn't given this up just yet and that's a splendid, scrambling point for 0-15. Djokovic goes wide with a forehand for 0-30. Simon just misses with a whipped forehand on the run before Djokovic hits the line with a threaded backhand. NO! Simon challenges and the graphic shows it missed by centimetres. Djokovic saves one break point but he can't save the second, tugging a backhand long. Great rearguard action from the Frenchman. 

Djokovic breaks again

*Djokovic 5-1 Simon (2-2)

Djokovic frames a furious forehand into the stands before Simon tugs a forehand long. Neat drop-shot from Djokovic for 15-30 before Simon nets. Simon goes just long with a shovelled backhand, another break. Djokovic doing what the great ones do, finding that vital something from somewhere just when it matters. 

Djokovic 4-1 Simon* (2-2)

All of a sudden, Djokovic has flicked his mysterious switch and Simon is trailing in his frothy wake. Another straightforward hold, Djokovic opens daylight entering the final straight.

Simon
AP

Gigi Salmon

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

"You cannot have an off game against Novak Djokovic, no matter what form he is in. That's a bad run of points for Simon."

Djokovic breaks

*Djokovic 3-1 Simon (2-2)

Novak Djokovic sits
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Simon races into a 40-0 lead on serve before Djokovic claws his way back into the game, putting away an overhead for 40-30 and outlasting the Frenchman for deuce. Simon plonks a backhand long to hand Novak the advantage before going long with a forehand to hand the champion the break.

Djokovic 2-1 Simon* (2-2)

Djokovic kicks the game off with his ninth ace, hooping out wide, and he holds to love. Could that presage a change in the wind?  

*Djokovic 1-1 Simon (2-2)

Simon with only his second ace of the match before Djokovic hits back with a searing forehand winner. For the most part today, that forehand had been a bane for Djokovic, like a master painter with a bent brush. There it is again, Djokovic appearing to lean back and heaving a forehand long after another marathon exchange. And another, this time yanked into the tramlines.

Djokovic 1-0 Simon* (2-2)

Novak Djokovic plays a return
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Well, well, well, we have a decider in Melbourne between defending champion Novak Djokovic and Frenchman Gilles Simon. Djokovic produced a ludicrous amount of unforced errors in the first four sets - more than 70, I believe - but you join us as the Serb finds a bit of solidity to hold serve at the start of the fifth.