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Denis Istomin stuns Djokovic in five grinding sets.

Wildcard Denis Istomin ousts six-time Australian champion in five grinding sets.

Wildcard Denis Istomin, the world No.117, has incredibly ended Novak Djokovic’s dream of a record-breaking seven Australian Open titles this year with a gripping 7-6(8) 5-7 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 victory in four hours and 48 minutes in just the second round at Rod Laver Arena .



It’s unreal,” Istomin said. “For me, it was impossible to think that I can hold it five sets with Novak, physically and mentally. So I did well today.”
“It means so much for me to beat the world No. 2.”
Djokovic himself was quick to praise his opponent. “All credit to Denis for playing amazing,” he said. “He deserved to win.”

One of the biggest upsets in Australian Open history, the match marked the first time in over a decade that Djokovic had been defeated in the first week, an even more unlikely occurrence given Istomin had only ever taken one set from the world No.2 – having played five times previously, including at Australian Open 2014, for a 1-12 return.

Prior to Thursday, Djokovic had only lost once to a player ranked outside the top 100 in the past seven years, falling to No.145 Juan Martin del Potro at last year's Olympics. It was also his earliest exit at a Grand Slam since he fell to Marat Safin in the second round at Wimbledon in 2008.


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