Quentin Halys says it definitely does not feel like a typical match when playing against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Halys, 26, met Nadal for the first time at the 2015 French Open, when the Spaniard handed him a 6-3 6-3 6-4 loss.
The following year, Halys met Djokovic for the first time as the Serb ousted the Frenchman at the 2016 Australian Open with a 6-1 6-2 7-6 (3) score. At the start of the 2023 season, Halys and Djokovic clashed for the second time.
This time, Halys put up a much better fight but still it was Djokovic who won their Adelaide International match 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5). According to Halys, tennis players know they are about to face "the tennis history" and battle against "the aura of Nadal and Djokovic" when they take on the court to play those two legends.
Halys on why playing Nadal, Djokovic is just different
“That was a long time ago. I was young. I just have a little regret, because I didn't take advantage of this moment at all. I remember that the whole crowd was for Rafa.
What impressed me the most was his ability to put the pressure on from the start of the match, never to relax on any point as if it were match point every time. Moreover, when we play Nadal or Djokovic as was the case at the start of the season, we face an opponent, but above all the history of tennis.
We also fight against their aura, what they represent, and that can be very destabilizing," Halys told We Love Tennis magazine. In Adelaide, Halys had a 5-2 lead in the first set against Djokovic as the Frenchman was so close to taking a set off the Serb.
Unfortunately for Halys, he didn't manage to close out the first set as Djokovic escaped with a tight two-set win. But after the match, Halys earned praise from Djokovic. "It was a great performance from my opponent today and I want to congratulate him for a great fight.
He played like a Top 10 opponent. He was serving big, hitting his spots and on a fast court like this it's tough to break, so two tie-breaks is a realistic score in today's match. I'm glad to overcome the challenge," Djokovic said of Halys in Adelaide.