Novak Djokovic holds nerve in tie-break to beat Quentin Halys in three sets
Novak Djokovic needed a third-set tie-break to beat Quentin Halys and reach the third round of the Australian Open.
The world No 1 seemed to be cruising after winning the first two sets 6-1 6-2 in just 56 minutes before the Frenchman hit back in the third.
The world No 187 even hit a shot around the net in the tie-break to scare the overwhelming favourite for the title.
But the Serb held his nerve to take the breaker 7-3.
"I think I played a good match," Djokovic told ATP.com afterwards. "The third set was a close set. Was a battle. Credit to him for fighting, for serving well.
"We got to a tie-break where I held my nerve and played solid tennis. He's a powerful player with a big forehand. He was aggressive every time he had an opportunity.
"He was just firing shots from both corners, from the back of the court. He deserved the credit and applause at the end of the match for a fight."
He will now meet Andreas Seppi, who beat Denis Kudla 7-5 6-4 6-4, in the next round. Of his next opponent, the No 28 seed, Djokovic added: "I expect him to try his best to win. It's going to be a tough one. I need to earn my points. I need to be ready for rallies. It's going to be a physical match. But the way I've been playing, I have a lot of faith and confidence in my game."