With the third set about to start, it looked like any other day. Nothing out of the ordinary as Roger Federer cruised with a two set lead against France's Gilles Simon. But they spoke too soon. Simon battled back to take the tie into the fifth set - the decider. Eventually though, normality prevailed as Federer broke Simon to make it 4-2 in the final set before taking the match at 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Those who looked into the history between these two would have known that it wasn't as straight-forward as it seemed. Federer has lost both his previous matches against Simon, who was ranked at No. 6 in the World in 2009 before injury forced him into a lengthy spell in the sidelines.

The game began with Federer forcing the Frenchman to save break points in the opening game as the second seed won five games in a row. He cruised to take the second set as well. However, at the start of the third, Federer's uncharacteristic mistakes coincided with some brilliant groundstrokes from Simon.

Suddenly, the crowd was confused. Barely minutes back, the world No.2 was two sets up and promising an early night, but now there he was down two breaks. Federer rallied and made four breaks in a row but Simon held on to serve out.

Federer struggled to find winners in the fourth set, as Simon held on displaying nerves of steel till he broke Fed in the ninth game. He then served to level the match.

The decider was a very tense affair in the opening games and Federer had to fight back from 0-30 down. In the sixth game, though, Federer finally found his rhythm and made the crucial break, roaring with a mixture of delight and relief. However, Simon didn't go down without a fight. On his own serve, he had to face three match points, but saved them all.

Simon then saved a fourth match point against Fed's serve. But there was nothing he could do with the winner, as Federer smashed down an ace to settle the tie after three hours and 13 minutes. The World No.2 will next face another potentially explosive encounter with Belgium's Xavier Malisse.