Novak Djokovic earns hard-fought win, ousts Quentin Halys

Djokovic next plays Shapovalov on Friday, followed by a possible blockbuster semi-final against Daniil Medvedev on Saturday
Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicANI

AUSTRALIA: One thing that defines legends is not giving up in the most turbulent of times and Novak Djokovic emulated just that to pull off a hard-fought victory against World No. 64 Quentin Halys in the Adelaide International on Thursday. Djokovic battled for one hour and 57 minutes to eke out the result, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in his favour before a packed centre-court crowd and rallied into the quarterfinals.

The Serbian had high praises for his opponent who put the tennis star under the pump in a gruelling match. "It was a great performance from my opponent today. I want to congratulate him for great quality and a great fight. Tough luck but he played like a top 10 player today no doubt. As far as my game goes I feel good on the court. I didn't have such a great start, I lost my serve early. He was serving really well, fast, big serves, hitting his spots in the box very well. Just difficult to play in this kind of court that is really fast. It kind of favours the server. If you're serving well, it's tough to break the serve of a big server like him, so two tiebreaks were probably the most realistic score of today's match. Just glad to overcome the tough challenge," said Djokovic as quoted by adelaideinternational.com.au.

Halys, a highly touted junior in his day, had never beaten a top-30 opponent in 11 attempts, let alone a top-10 opponent with 21 majors to his name, but he came out of the gates flying, breaking the top seed in the first game and maintaining his concentration at 5-2.

Halys only played one cautious game in the first set, serving for it at 5-3. Djokovic needed only a hint of an opening to break to love and roar in acknowledgement towards his camp.

Djokovic, who has won 20 of his last 21 matches, won his third career title in Adelaide in 2007. This week, he'll go for career title No. 92. He next plays Shapovalov on Friday, followed by a possible blockbuster semi-final against Daniil Medvedev on Saturday.

Djokovic has a 7-0 ATP head-to-head series lead over Shapovalov, but the 23-year-old has been very competitive in their three matches since 2020.

Former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev advanced to the Adelaide International quarterfinals on Wednesday, defeating countryman Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0, 6-3.

In his first game of the season, Daniil Medvedev had to fight tooth and nail, saving nine set points in the opening set of 2023. However, the tennis star did not sweat on Wednesday as he eased past Kecmanovic in straight sets.

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