Reigning champion Novak Djokovic has been knocked out of the Australian Open after a stunning display from Uzbek wildcard Denis Istomin.
The world No.117, who had never beaten a player inside the top 10, aggressively went after the second seed from the outset before sealing the 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory on Thursday in four hours and 48 minutes.
It’s the first time 12-time grand slam champion Djokovic has failed to make the third round of a major since Wimbledon in 2008.
Djokovic has won six of the past nine Australian Opens and this was his earliest exit from Melbourne Park since his first-round loss in 2006.
After the match 30-year-old Istomin agreed with courtside commentator Jim Courier that it was the highlight of his 13-year career.
“It’s the biggest win of my career, now I feel like I can play with these guys and be on their level,” the former world No.33 said.
“I feel sorry for Novak. I was playing so good today. I want to thank my team and my mum.
“Thank you guys [the crowd], you were amazing. There’s so much emotion on my mind so I cannot hold it, but thanks so much for coming to support me.”
More to come