Novak Djokovic battled back from 5-2 down in the first set to beat Quentin Halys 7-6(3) 7-6(5) and move into the Adelaide International 1 quarterfinals on Thursday. Halys, ranked 64th in the world, has never beaten a top-10 opponent but seemed to have given Djokovic a big scare before the former world No 1 prevailed in two tiebreakers.
Djokovic, who has now won 31 consecutive singles matches in Australia, is preparing for the January 16-29 Australian Open, where he is seeking a record-extending 10th crown. The Serb was unable to defend his title last year after he was deported on the eve of the tournament for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
“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,” Djokovic, who is now ranked fifth in the world, said.
The 35-year-old Serbian will next play Denis Shapovalov, who he has beaten in all seven of their meetings. “He’s a very great athlete, moves fantastically. We haven’t played for a while so I’m looking forward to that. Every match now gets tougher, I’m going to be ready for that.” Djokovic added.