Serbia's Novak Djokovic gestures during his men's singles match against France's Gilles Simon on day seven of the 2016 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 24, 2016. AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN
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Novak Djokovic's grip on the Australian Open title looked shaky for a short spell Sunday but the world No. 1 finally shook off Gilles Simon in a four-and-a-half hour marathon to take his place in the quarterfinals.The whiff of an upset hung around Melbourne Park for much of the day – Tomas Berdych, Agnieszka Radwanska and Carla Suarez Navarro all lost opening sets – but it was most potent in Djokovic's five-setter against Simon.Defensive baseliner Simon is a wily campaigner, however, and he elicited 100 unforced errors out of the reigning champion in his 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 defeat.Nishikori was humiliated 6-1, 6-1 in his last meeting with Djokovic in November and will be hoping to avenge that defeat and revive memories of his stunning upset of the Serbian in the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Open.The Serb might need more than 21 aces to end a run of 17 successive defeats against Williams going back to 2004, however.
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