Simon: Don't fear Djokovic and Co.


Gilles Simon has called on his ATP Tour compatriots not be overawed by Novak Djokovic and the world's best, with the Frenchman insisting there is nothing to fear after Sunday's five-set epic at the Australian Open.

Simon came within a whisker of derailing world number one Djokovic's bid for a sixth Australian Open title, gaining plenty of admirers following his remarkable 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 fourth-round defeat on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic tallied an uncharacteristic 100 unforced errors against 14th-seeded Simon, who said he almost pulled off the perfect plan to eliminate the Serbian star.

"Sometimes I feel the players, they are not always trying their best when they play, for example, against Novak," Simon said.

"At the start Novak is playing fantastic and the match is over after 20 minutes.

"I just try to do my best point after point, minute after minute, try to find some solution, try to feel better on the court.

"I really believe inside that if I can play what I want to play, I will give them trouble."

Of his performance, Simon added: "I know exactly what I was doing, but I won't say it. I had a plan.

"I know him well. We all know which player he is and how hard it is to find any solution against him, to somehow stop the fight and feel better on the court.

"I think I worked on it good today. He made 100 unforced. That's a good number for me, not for him. But fortunately one more time was not enough."