After falling behind 5-2 in the first set, Novak Djokovic stormed back to upset Quentin Halys of France, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5). And advance to the quarterfinals of the Adelaide lead-up tournament to the Australian Open. It’s Djokovic’s illustrious career’s 211th ATP quarterfinal.
“It was a great performance from my opponent today. I want to congratulate him for great quality tennis and a great fight today. Tough luck, but he played like a Top 10 player today, no doubt.”
DJOKOVIC SAID ABOUT HALYS IN HIS ON-COURT INTERVIEW.
It appeared to be a mismatch on paper because Djokovic had won their only prior encounter in straight sets—a 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (3) triumph in the second round of the Australian Open in 2016—and he was also the higher-ranked player (No. 5 to No. 64). Also Read: Tennis players top Google’s list of world’s most-searched athletes
Djokovic Proud to win over the tough Challenge
All of that was quickly thrown out the window as Halys, who was playing extremely aggressively. He dominated Djokovic with big first serves, strong groundstrokes, and a delicate touch at the net, breaking him early in the second game. He finally gaining the previously noted 5-2 advantage. However, that’s when Djokovic really got going; he scored the next nine games in a row. The 12 of the following 14 points to square the match at five apiece before winning the set in a tie-break.
In the second set, neither player was broken. Though Djokovic did create a double match point with Halys serving at 4-5, 15-40. The Frenchman managed to avoid that. But Djokovic didn’t falter on his third match point at 6-5 in the tie-break. Thus, winning it with a powerful forehand strike. Djokovic is now 21-5 in tie-breaks since the start of 2022.
“As far as my game goes, I feel good. On the court I didn’t have such a great start. I lost serve early. He was serving really well, fast, big serves, hitting his spots in the box really well—it’s difficult to play [a serve like that] on this kind of court, which is really fast and kind of favors the server. Two tie-breaks were probably the most realistic score of today’s match. I’m glad to have overcome such a tough challenge.”
The 21-time Grand Slam winner has now triumphed in 20 of his past 21 matches on the professional tour, in addition to 28 of his most recent 30, and 37 of his most recent 40. Denis Shapovalov, the No. 7 seed, will face No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals after Roman Safiullin, a Russian qualifier, was defeated 6-4, 6-3 earlier in the day to move to the last eight.
Shapovalov and Djokovic have faced each other seven times before, with the Serb winning all seven encounters. Their most recent encounter occurred in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2021, with the score 7-6 (3), 7-5, and 7-5.
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