Australian Open: Laughing Djokovic insists he has not lost his edge and played ‘with intensity’ – Yahoo Sports
Wildcard Denis Istomin has shocked the tennis world by dumping Novak Djokovic out of the Australian Open.
The world number 117 showed incredible stamina to go the full five-set distance and win 7-6, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 against the six-time champion.
It was clear from the outset that Istomin would not allow the Serbian megastar’s presence on court rattle him and the first game lasted a full 16 minutes.
Five of the last six Aussie Open titles had been claimed by the world No. 2 and his underdog opponent could scarcely believe what unfolded at the Rod Laver Arena.
Istomin said: “First of all, I feel sorry for Novak because I was playing so well today.
“I surprised myself. I want to thank my team and my mum – they do a great job.”
The match lasted just under five hours and will go down as one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history.
An honest Djokovic said: “All the credit to Denis for playing amazing. He deserved to win. No doubt, he was a better player in the clutch moments.
“He stepped it up, played aggressive. Served very well, very precise. There’s not much I could do.
“Of course, I was not pleased with my performance overall. But I have to congratulate my opponent.”
Djokovic insisted he was not guilty of taking Istomin lightly.
The Serbian added: “There was intensity, of course. We played four and a half hours.
“It’s one of these days when you don’t feel that great on the court, don’t have much rhythm, and the player you’re playing against is feeling the ball very well. So that’s sport.
“I never underestimate any opponent. Doesn’t matter which tournament I play on or which round. I try to give the best that I can. I have respect for everybody.
“Him playing this well, it’s amazing. He played obviously above his level. You got to give him credit for that. Many things came together for him. He’s a well-deserved winner.”