By Mary Cunningham
Arguably the greatest Australian Open champion in the 105 years of the event, Novak Djokovic, was stunned today by wild-card Denis Istomin 7-6 (8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the second round.
Djokovic, looking to become the first seven-time winner Down Under, was out of sorts from the outset. Fifteen minutes after the first ball was struck, he found himself still fighting for the opening game. It finally ended when Djokovic struck two unreturnable serves, ending the 24-point game.
It was downhill from there. Djokovic failed to rattle his opponent, the 117th-ranked player from Uzbekistan.
“All the credit to Denis for playing amazing,” Djokovic said afterward. “He deserved to win. No doubt, he was a better player in the clutch moments.”