GAME, SET, MATCH SERBIA 6-3 6-1 7-5
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 7-5 Simon
It's all over. Djokovic wins to level the tie for hosts. The doubles tomorrow will be vital and Sunday's clash between Djokovic and Monfils will be a cracker as well. Other than a minor hiccup at the end, that was a decent all-round performance from the Serbian No. 1.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 6-5 Simon
Well that mini revival was short lived! Djokovic breaks again and surely he'll finish the job off this time. Extra long rally at 30-40 which ended with a Simon forehand floating wide after agressive play from the Serb.
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 5-5 *Simon
Unbelievable! Djokovic has been in complete control but Simon saves two match points and steals a break from nowhere. Is this the start of a comeback? Long way to go before that but Djokovic was definitely edgy in that game... the trademark bouncing of the ball before serving taking longer and longer.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 5-4 Simon
Djokovic unleashes a few unforced errors before jogging to the chair, appearing quite content with serving out the match in the next game. Last chance saloon for Simon now.
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 5-3 *Simon
One more game will do it for Djokovic. He seals a comfortable hold by coming to the net and sticking a volley into the open court. It had the Serbain fans on their feet.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 4-3 Simon
A winning forehand volley seals the game for Simon. Djokovic has enjoyed a lot of success with drop shots but it didn't work for him in that game, netting an easy one at 30-15. The music is suddenly turned up at the change of ends and the crowd wakes up. This match has been a bit one-sided and they haven't really had a chance to get involved.
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 4-2 *Simon
Djokovic ventures to the net after a long point at 15-15 and caresses a lovely drop volley out of the reach of Simon. A big serve and forehand winner accounted for the next two points and another hold is chalked up.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 3-2 Simon
Missed opportunity for Djokovic. He led 40-15 in that game but Simon won four straight points to cling on and keep his diminishing hopes alive. Captain Guy Forget is trying to get his player fired up at the change of ends.
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 3-1 *Simon
Djokovic holds to leave himself just three games away from drawing Serbia level. This tie is shaping up to go the distance. Tomorrow's doubles rubber will be crucial.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 2-1 Simon
Simon isn't able to put enough pressure on Djokovic from the back of the court and the Serb is dictating all the points. That's been the story of the match so far. Another forehand flies long off the Frenchman's strings as Djokovic nears the finish line.
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 1-1 *Simon
Too good from the world No. 3. Simon benefitted from a lucky netcord but Djokovic followed up with a superb dropshot winner - when his opponent was almost inside the baseline - and an ace to win the game.
Djokovic* 6-3 6-1 0-1 Simon
Positive start for the Frenchman. A netted forehand on game point hands Simon a much-needed hold of serve. He can't afford to let Djokovic forge ahead in this set.
SECOND SET SERBIA 6-1
Djokovic 6-3 6-1 0-0 *Simon
Another love hold and now Simon needs a miracle if he's to come back in this match. It has become far too easy for Djokovic. Simon looks a beaten man!
Djokovic* 6-3 5-1 Simon
One way traffic. Simon made two unforced errors on the forehand before double faulting to hand Djokovic two more break points. The first one was saved but the second ended in a forehand winner for the Serb after a long baseline rally.
Djokovic 6-3 4-1 *Simon
More of the same from the home favourite. He holds to love after winning a Hawkeye overrule at 40-0. Majestic backhand down the line.
Djokovic* 6-3 3-1 Simon
Solid play from Djokovic. He grinds down Simon from the back of the court until the Frenchman produces an error, which he duly did a few times in that game. The world No. 3 converts the break at 15-40 to ease into a 3-1 lead.
Djokovic 6-3 2-1 *Simon
If you're not already, click the link on the right to listen to the live radio commentary from Chris Bowers, Craig Gabriel and Eli Weinstein. Djokovic goes ahead with another easy hold.
Djokovic* 6-3 1-1 Simon
Not too many close games in this match! Another love hold as Simon establishes himslef in the match once again.
Djokovic 6-3 1-0 *Simon
Djokovic starts where he left off in the last set with a second straight love game. It's beginning to look ominous for the Frenchman.
FIRST SET SERBIA 6-3
Djokovic* 6-3 0-0 Simon
The wheels came off for Simon in that game. Too many unforced errors and Djokovic breaks to love to seal the first set. It's an uphill battle for Simon now.
Djokovic 5-3 *Simon
Simon reaches his first break point but can't convert. Djokovic fires down a big serve out wide and follows it up with a winning drive volley. Gutsy! Two points later and he's one game from the set.
Djokovic* 4-3 Simon
Djokovic shows his speed and athleticism at 15-15, hanging in the point before Simon eventually nets an easy forehand. Another wayward forehand brings up the first two break points of the match. They're both saved but Djokovic still sneaks the game after half a dozen deuces when Simon fails to retrieve a drop shot. Fist blood to Serbia.
Djokovic 3-3 *Simon
Neither player troubled on serve so far... another hold to love! Djokovic and Simon have similar styles of play, both favouring staying at the back and working their opponent around the court. Interesting tactical battle developing.
Djokovic* 2-3 Simon
Djokovic produces four unforced errors from the baseline to hand Simon a routine hold to love. He sent three groundies long and pushed a forehand wide. Unlike him... normally rock solid in those situations.
Djokovic 2-2 *Simon
First double fault for Djokovic but it doesn't matter. His backhand slice approach at 40-15 was too good and Simon nets the attempted pass.
Djokovic* 1-2 Simon
Simon wisely asks for a second opinion from Hawkeye when trailing 0-15. The ace down the middle was called good, just catching the edge of the line. A couple of errors from Djokovic and it's another hold.
Djokovic 1-1 *Simon
The Serb replies with a hold to love. Regardless of the enormity of the occasion neither player is really showing signs of nerves, both stroking it around quite nicely in the early exchanges.
Djokovic* 0-1 Simon
And we're off... Simon opens confidently with an ace and, despite Djokovic threading a beautiful backhand winner down the line on the second point, holds to 15. Good start for the Frenchman.
Djokovic 0-0 *Simon
It will be Simon to kick us off. He's going to need to get off to a quick start if he's got a chance against the world No. 3.
I've got no idea what the Serbian MC is talking about (I don't speak the language, sorry!) but whatever he's saying the Belgrade Arena is loving it!
Disco lights add to the atmosphere as first Simon and then Djokovic enter this impressive and packed arena. There's hardly a spare seat and the place is going crazy for their local hero.
Players on court now and warming up. Not long to go...
Novak Djokovic takes on Gilles Simon in Belgrade with the home team trailing 1-0 and the pressure firmly on the world No. 3. The two players have faced each other on six previous occasions.
Simon's sole victory over Djokovic came in their first meeting in 2008, but the former Aussie Open champ has won the last five matches, including a triumph in Beijing earlier this year.
France took the early lead courtesy of a 61 76(4) 60 win for Gael Monfils over Janko Tipsarevic. The second set was tight but it was one way traffic in the end.
The players are due on court shortly...