Novak Djokovic: 'My Rival Played Like Top-10, I'M Glad To Win'

‘My rival played as a top-10, I’m glad to win’

Novak Djokovic had to face Quentin Halys in the second round in Adelaide. A 21-time Major winner earned a 7-6, 7-6 triumph in one hour and 55 minutes for a place in the final eight. Djokovic trailed 5-2 in the first set before withdrawing at the last moment to prolong the battle.

As many times before, the Serb kept his cool in decisive moments to emerge on top and stay on the road to the title. Halys saved two match points at 4-5 in the second set, fighting like a lion and earning praise from Novak.

The Serb described the opponent’s performance as a top 10, with powerful serves and an aggressive approach. Djokovic missed a routine volley in the second game of the encounter and broke after the opponent’s backhand down the line returned the winner for an early backhand.

Novak created two break chances with a forehand down the line winner in the third game. Quentin saved the first with a big winner and denied the second with a net winner to keep his serve intact.

Novak Djokovic beat Quentin Halys in Adelaide.

Novak held on in the fourth game with a forehand winner before Quentin fired a serve winner in the next to move ahead 4-1.

Halys served well again at 4-2 to hold the lead and move closer to the first set. Finding the rhythm, Djokovic clinched game eight with a forehand winner and pushed hard on the return. Novak broke at love in game nine to extend the action and get a big push.

They served well in the remaining games to introduce a tiebreaker. Novak built a 5-0 lead with three mini-breaks and seized third set point at 6-3. Djokovic served well in the second set and kept up the pressure on the other side.

Halys served to stay in the match 4-5 and faced problems. Quentin denied a couple of match points and held with an ace to close out the score at 5-5. Novak closed the eleventh game down 30-0, and Quentin held on for nil a few minutes later to introduce the second tiebreaker.

Halys opened a 4-3 gap with a booming serve, and Novak took the next point with a game-winning volley into the net. A forehand winner sent the Serb up 5-4, and the Frenchman held neck-and-neck. Novak grabbed a deciding mini-break at point 11 and converted the third match point at 6-5 with a forced error to seal the deal and avoid a decider.

«That was a great performance from my opponent today; I want to congratulate him on a great fight. He played like a top 10 opponent. He served big, hitting his spots. On a fast court like this, it’s hard to break, so two tiebreakers is a score realistic in today’s match. I’m happy to rise to the challenge», said Novak Djokovic.

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