Novak Djokovic roared back from 5-2 down in the first set to defeat inspired Frenchman Quentin Halys, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), and reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open lead-up event in Adelaide.

It’s the 211th ATP quarterfinal of Djokovic’s incredible career.

“It was a great performance from my opponent today. I want to congratulate him for great quality tennis and a great fight today,” Djokovic said about Halys in his on-court interview.

“Tough luck, but he played like a Top 10 player today, no doubt.”

On paper, it looked like it would be a mismatch—not only was Djokovic the higher-ranked player, No. 5 to No. 64, but he had also won their only previous meeting in straight sets, a 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory in the second round of the Australian Open in 2016.

That all went out the window early on, as an ultra-aggressive Halys took it to Djokovic with huge first serves, powerful groundstrokes and deft touch at the net, grabbing an early break in the second game and eventually building the aforementioned 5-2 lead.

That’s when Djokovic came alive, though—he reeled off the next nine points in a row, and 12 of the next 14 points, to draw even at 5-all, eventually sneaking the set out in a tie-break.

Neither player was broken in the second set, though Djokovic did bring up double match point with Halys serving at 4-5, 15-40—the Frenchman escaped that, but Djokovic wouldn’t falter on his third match point at 6-5 in the tie-break, closing it out with a big forehand approach shot that Halys couldn’t get back in the court.

Djokovic is now 21-5 in tie-breaks since the start of 2022.

Djokovic is now 7-0 in his career at the ATP event in Adelaide, going 5-0 to win the title in 2007 and 2-0 so far this week.

Djokovic is now 7-0 in his career at the ATP event in Adelaide, going 5-0 to win the title in 2007 and 2-0 so far this week.


“As far as my game goes, I feel good,” Djokovic added.

“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.”

Djokovic extended a few streaks with his victory over Halys: he’s now won his last 31 matches in a row in Australia, his last loss in the country coming to South Korea’s Chung Hyeon at the Australian Open in 2018; and he’s now won his last 19 matches in a row against Frenchmen since falling to Benoit Paire at Miami in 2018.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has now also won 20 of his last 21 tour-level matches, as well as 28 of his last 30, and 37 of his last 40.

Awaiting the No. 1-seeded Djokovic in the quarterfinals will be No. 7-seeded Denis Shapovalov, who advanced to the last eight earlier in the day with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin.

Djokovic has won all seven previous meetings with Shapovalov, their last meeting coming in the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2021, where the Serb prevailed in three close sets, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5.