Djokovic brings Serbia level at 1-1.

Novak Djokovic brought Serbia level with France at 1-1 after day one of the Davis Cup final thanks to a straight-sets win over Gilles Simon in Belgrade. World number three Djokovic thrilled the majority of the 16,000 fans with a 6-3 6-1 7-5 win, after Gael Monfils had beaten Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7-4) 6-0. Viktor Troicki will partner Nenad Zimonjic against Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement in Sunday’s doubles.

Serbia are attempting to win the Davis Cup for the first time. Should they defeat nine-time champions France, team captain Bogdan Obradovic has suggested it would be the biggest achievement in his nation’s sporting history. I was nervous and it’s not surprising the crowd never really got going because I gave them very little to cheer about. The pressure was now on world number three Djokovic to deliver for the home side and he did so in style. Simon has slipped from a high of sixth in the world last year to 42nd after a series of injuries and went into the match having lost his last five encounters with the former Australian Open champion. The early signs were that this would be a tighter match, but after Djokovic converted his fourth break point in a lengthy game seven there was only going to be one winner.

Serving superbly, he appeared to be strolling to the finish line until nerves finally took hold as he served for victory, with two match points going begging before Simon broke back to make it 5-5. There was tension on both sides of the net, however, and the Frenchman handed the advantage straight back to Djokovic with a loose game before the grateful Serb grabbed his second opportunity to close it out after two hours and 15 minutes.


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