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Djokovic beats Simon in five-set thriller to enter Australian Open quarters

The five-time champion Djokovic and the pesky Simon played plenty of long rallies — the longest of which was 37 strokes. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The five-time champion Djokovic and the pesky Simon played plenty of long rallies — the longest of which was 37 strokes. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The five-time champion Djokovic and the pesky Simon played plenty of long rallies — the longest of which was 37 strokes.

An error-riddled Novak Djokovic has advanced to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the 27th consecutive time, persevering over a dogged and determined Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a 4-hour, 32-minute match at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic advanced to the final eight and a match on Tuesday against Kei Nishikori despite making a whopping 100 unforced errors, including four backhand drop shots into the net as he attempted, unsuccessfully, to get Simon to move up from his anchored position on the baseline.

The five-time champion Djokovic and the pesky Simon played plenty of long rallies — the longest of which was 37 strokes. Simon frustrated Djokovic with his defensive play, saving all 11 break-point opportunities in the second set before dominating the tiebreaker.

Overall, Simon saved 19 of 25 break points.

first published:January 24, 2016, 14:28 IST