Denis Istomin upset Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five setter. The six-time world champion was defeated 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5) , 6-4 in dramatic fashion. The match lasted almost five hours. Before this loss, Djokovic had never lost to anyone ranked lower than no. 70. Although it was a tough defeat for Novak, it opens up the opportunity for a new name to be crowned Australian Open Champion.
Denis Istomin vs. Novak Djokovic.
Istomin, whose peak ranking was no. 33, barely pulled the first set out with an impressive 10-8 tiebreak win over Djokovic.
Though he went on to lose the next two sets in consecutive order, Istomin remained strong and came back to grab an early lead in the fourth set.
He was up 4-1, but Djokovic quickly responded by winning three straight games to pull it back to 4-4. The set went to 5-5 with that game going to deuce.
Both players didn’t relent, each showing their strengths but in the end, it was Istomin who came out victorious with an ace out wide to close the game, giving Istomin a 6-5 lead.
However, Djokovic attacked back, quickly ending Istomin’s lead with a few heavy rallies and an ace of his own to bring the set to a tiebreaker.
In the tiebreak, Istomin quickly gained a 5-1 lead but the constant pressure and consistency by Djokovic led to Istomin barely closing the tiebreaker by putting an ace down the tee to close the fourth set tiebreak 7-5.
When the fifth set started, both players held their serves until 2-2 where Istomin dominated the baseline, hitting several winners which left the crowd in awe. This led to him breaking Djokovic’s serve. From here, Istomin had a 3-2 lead and only needed to hold serve. That was exactly what he did and he ended up pulling out a 6-4 win in the fifth set to beat the number two seed, Novak Djokovic.
After the match, Denis thanked his mother and his team saying, “We did a good job.” He also commemorated Novak for fighting throughout the entire match and giving his best.
The Serbian was visibly disappointed, viewed by many as one of the favorites to win the Aussie Open.
He has been lacking in recent months, and Andy Murray will have the chance to claim his first ever Grand Slam down under.