Novak Djokovic is refusing to take his imperious form for granted, despite extending his five-year unbeaten run in Australia to 32 matches and setting up an Adelaide International quarter-final showdown with Denis Shapovalov.
Continuing his ominous Australian Open build-up, the nine-time Melbourne Park champion eased past Frenchman Quentin Halys 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) at Memorial Drive on Thursday.
Djokovic has now won 19 of his past 20 matches and hasn't lost in Australia since a shock third-round defeat to Hyeon Chung at the 2018 Open.
Now ranked fifth in the world after a disrupted 2022 campaign that included missing the Australian Open after being deported, Djokovic didn't have it all his own way against Halys, blowing two match points before securing the win.
Halys broke the Serbian superstar in his first service game and marched to a 5-2 lead.
The world No.64 served for the first set but was broken to love, with Djokovic pouncing on the missed opportunity to win three straight games, level at 5-5 and then storm through the tiebreak.
The pair went toe to toe in the second set before Halys faltered on serve at 4-5, giving Djokovic two match points and sending young fans rushing courtside in anticipation of an autograph.
But the 21-major champion couldn't convert, with Halys taking the set to a second tiebreak.
This time the 25-year-old put up a much better challenge, but Djokovic sealed victory before praising his gallant challenger.
"He played like a top-10 player," Djokovic said.
"As far as my game goes, I didn't have such a great start, but I feel good on the court.
"Two tiebreaks were probably the most realistic score of today's match, and I'm just glad to overcome the tough challenge."
Earlier, world No.18 Shapovalov posted a 6-4 6-3 win over Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin.
The Canadian, who was taken to three sets by young Australian Rinky Hijikata in the opening round, had an easier time against world No.88 Safiullin.
Shapovalov is still riding high after helping Canada to their first Davis Cup title, beating Australia in the final in November, and hopes that translates to singles success.
"Last year we started with winning the ATP Cup and finished it off with winning the Davis Cup, so definitely the team events were a good success for me last year," he said.
"I'm definitely trying to implement that on the individual side as well, and so far it's been a great start."
Djokovic is unbeaten in seven meetings with Shapovalov, but remains wary of the left-hander.
"Denis is one of the most quality players out there," he said.
"He's got a very dynamic style of tennis, a big serve, comes to the net, is comfortable playing from (the) back of the court, very great athlete, moves fantastic.
"We haven't played now for a while, so I'm looking forward to that. Every match now gets tougher and I'm going to be ready for that."
American Sebastian Korda beat Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 and will await the winner of Thursday night's match between home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis and Italian young gun Jannik Sinner.