Novak Djokovic reaches the quarterfinals of Adelaide | TBEN | Tennis


New season, same script for Novak Djokovic.

No. 64 Quentin Halys trailed 2-5 after a competitive first set at the Adelaide International 1 Thursday, did anyone really doubt the Serb would come back? With the Frenchman serving for the set at 5-3, Djokovic went into lockdown mode and broke with love after teasing four consecutive unforced errors from the 26-year-old’s racket.

From there it was a business move from the man who spent a record 373 weeks on the Pepperstone ATP Rankings as he pulled off a 7-6(3) 7-6(5) victory to reach a quarterfinal with explosive Canadian shotmaker Dennis Shapovalov. To his credit, Halys remained competitive throughout, but eventually fell to 0-12 in career meetings against Top 30 opponents.

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“It was a great performance from my opponent today and I want to congratulate him on a great fight. He played like a Top 10 opponent,” said Djokovic. “He served well, hit his spots and on a fast pitch like this it’s hard to break, so two tiebreaks is a realistic score in today’s game. I’m happy to have won the challenge.”

Djokovic, who has won 20 of his last 21 bouts, claimed the third title of his career in Adelaide in 2007. This week he goes in search of career title No. 92. He then faces Shapovalov Friday in a potential blockbuster semifinal with Daniil Medvedev on Saturday.

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Looking ahead to his next match, Djokovic said: “Denis is one of the most complete players out there. He has a very dynamic style of tennis. He serves well, comes to the net, is comfortable in the back of a court and he is a great athlete. I haven’t played against him in a while, so I’m looking forward to it. Every game from here gets harder.”

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Before the duel with Djokovic, Shapovalov will probably enter the practice field in search of rhythm on his first serve. The Canadian put in just 55 percent of the first serves against Australian Rinky Hijikata in the first round, when he also threw nine double faults. In Thursday’s 6-3, 6-3 victory over another qualifier, world No. 88 Roman Safiullin, Shapovalov cut his double fault count to two, but he still made only 57 percent of first serves in the game. game.

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Despite losing nine of ten matches between Rome and Montreal last year, Shapovalov finished a respectable 34-26 on the season and ranked No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings.

Djokovic leads Shapovalov 7-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, but the 23-year-old has been very competitive in their three games since 2020.