Tennis: Djokovic beats Halys to reach third round of Aussie Open

Novak Djokovic stretches to hit a shot against Quentin Halys on Jan 20, 2016.
Novak Djokovic stretches to hit a shot against Quentin Halys on Jan 20, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS, AFP) - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tussled with unfancied Frenchman Quentin Halys in the third set before reaching the Australian Open third round in straight sets on Wednesday.

The 10-time Grand Slam champion downed the 187th-ranked Halys 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in one hour and 40 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic was at his clinically efficient best in the first two sets as he looked to be tactically three shots ahead of Halys and he opened up space on court at will while he romped to a 2-0 lead inside an hour.

The 19-year-old wildcard, ranked 167th in the world, then fought back in the third set, breaking the Serb for the first time and putting him under pressure before Djokovic ran away with the tie-break.

Djokovic, who is aiming for a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title, will next face either Italy's Andreas Seppi or American Denis Kudla in the third round.