Australian Open: Roger Federer Survives Gilles Simon

Roger Federer labored for more than three hours before advancing to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, as the second-seeded Swiss needed five sets to beat unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon, 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Simon, who had his perfect record against Federer broken, easily surrendered the first two sets to the defending champion and former world number one but stole the third and fourth frames to take the match to a deciding fifth set. Federer broke Simon’s serve in the sixth game of the fifth set to take control of the match at 4-2, before punctuating his win two games later with an ace. “Clearly, he’s a great player first of all. Matches against him don’t come easily … hopefully we don’t play each other anymore!” Federer said, according to AFP, after notching his first win against the Frenchman.

Also advancing to the third round were Americans Andy Roddick and Venus Williams, women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki, and former world number one Maria Sharapova.