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Djokovic: Victory over Simon was a match to forget

Novak Djokovic described it as a day to forget after the Serb made 100 unforced errors in his battling five-set win over Gilles Simon at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was far from his metronomic best at Rod Laver Arena as he missed 51 forehands, 48 backhands and was broken four times.

Djokovic managed the win. Credit: PA

Simon, however, was unable to capitalise as the world number one dug deep to grind out a 6-3 6-7 (1/7) 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory and book a quarter-final match-up with Japan's Kei Nishikori.

"I was obviously pleased to win the match. The last point counts. But in terms of the performance itself, I haven't done well at all," Djokovic said.

"I honestly didn't expect to make this many unforced errors. In terms of a level that I've played, it's the match to forget for me."

Andy Murray has made almost half as many unforced errors (63) in his opening three matches put together as Djokovic managed against the Frenchman.

Asked if he could remember a similar performance, Djokovic said: "Not even close. No, I don't think I've had any close number to a hundred.

"But, again, there is a first time for everything."


Nadal shocked by compatriot Verdasco fightback

Rafael Nadal is out. Credit: Reuters

Rafael Nadal bowed out in the Australian Open first round as fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco came from behind to win 7-6 (8/6), 4-6 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.

Nadal led by two sets to one and then 2-0 in the decider in Rod Laver Arena but Verdasco came roaring back, unleashing an incredible 90 winners en route to a superb victory.

Fernando Verdasco shocked his compatriot. Credit: Reuters

The world number 45 will now face Israel's Dudi Sela in round two, while Nadal exits a third consecutive grand slam in the first week.

"I played unbelievable in the fifth set from after the break he made against me," Verdasco said.

"I just started hitting winners - I don't know how. I was closing my eyes and everything was coming in."

Andy Murray says young players need educating about match fixing

Andy Murray during his first round match against Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open Credit: Jason O'Brien/Reuters

Andy Murray says tennis needs to be more proactive in talking about corruption, and said more needs to be done to warn young players about match fixing.

Speaking after his first round victory in the Australian Open, the world number two said when young players are approached with large sums of money "I think sometimes people can make mistakes".

It should be tennis that does a better job of explaining. They shouldn't have to read it in the press, you have to be proactive with things like this.

You have to go and speak to the players rather than them reading about it in the newspapers or listening to it on the TV or the radio. I think the more proactive you are with educating young players the better.

– Andy Murray, Britain's number one tennis player

Meanwhile Roger Federer has called for "concrete facts", saying he "would love to hear names" of the players allegedly involved in match fixing.


Australian Open: Andy Murray through to second round

Murray celebrates after winning his first round match. Credit: Reuters

Second seed Andy Murray advanced into the second round of the Australian Open after a comfortable 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory over Germany's Alexander Zverev.

The world number two took the first two sets in 71 minutes but found the tall 18-year-old more difficult to overcome in the third when he saved two match points before the Brit completed the victory in just over two hours.

PM calls for independent probe into elite tennis 'fixing'

David Cameron has called for an independent investigation into the "deeply concerning" allegations of widespread match-fixing in tennis, including at Wimbledon.

David Cameron, seen in the royal box at Wimbledon, said claims of match-fixing in tennis hurt the sport's supporters the most. Credit: PA Images

A Downing Street spokesperson said the Prime Minister wants to see "action taken" in the wake of claims that 16 elite players had been reported over fears of fixing in the past decade.

It is deeply concerning that another sport is facing such serious allegations. As with the allegations we have seen in other sports like athletics and football, the people who suffer most are the fans.

The Prime Minister would want to see these issues investigated by the independent authorities. The most important thing is that action is taken in response and the independent authorities get on with that.

– Downing Street spokesperson

Djokovic reveals he was offered £140,000 to throw match

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic has revealed he was offered £140,000 to throw a match in 2007 as the sport faces fresh allegations of elite match-fixing over the past decade.

Djokovic said "people that were working with me at the time" were approached with a $200,000 (£140,000) offer for him to deliberately lose a match at a tournament in St Petersburg.

Novak Djokovic said match-fixing went beyond unsportsmanship and must be regarded as a 'crime'. Credit: Reuters

"Of course, we threw it away right away," the Serbian told reporters on the day he began his defence of the Australian Open. "It made me feel terrible."

Responding directly to the latest allegations, Djokovic suggested the alleged widespread fixing concerned matches "almost 10 years ago" and players "who are not active any more" despite claims one top-50 player suspected of fixing is competing in the Australian Open.

The 10-time grand slam winner said the sport had "evolved" and "upgraded our programmes and authorities to deal with these particular cases", adding: "I don’t think the shadow is cast over our sport."

Australian Open: Serena Williams through to second round

Serena Williams in action during her first round match. Credit: Reuters

Defending champion Serena Williams went through to the second round of the Australian Open with a close 6-4, 7-5 win over Italy's Camila Giorgi.

Playing in her first tour match in four months, Williams had been struggling with a knee problem ahead of the match, but she went through unscathed.

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