Defending champion Novak Djokovic has suffered a shock defeat by world number 117 Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open.
The six-time winner struggled for rhythm and lost 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes, BBC Sport reports
Speaking after the match, Djokovic said: “He deserved to win. No doubt, he was a better player in the clutch moments.
“Many things came together for him today and he’s a well-deserved winner. There’s not much I could do.”
This is the first time Djokovic, 29, has lost in the second round of a Grand Slam since 2008 at Wimbledon.
It is only the second time in seven years that Djokovic has lost to a player ranked outside the top 100 – his defeat by Juan Martin del Potro, ranked 145th, at the Rio Olympics in 2016 the other occasion.
“It is the biggest win (of my career) for me and means so much, now I feel I can play with these guys and be with them on the same level,” said Istomin.
“From the third set I had cramp in my leg, I don’t know how I held it. I was playing so good. I surprised myself.”
Istomin had two years out of the game after breaking his leg in a car accident in 2001 and spending three months in hospital.
The result leaves world number one Andy Murray as favourite to win his first Australian Open title in Melbourne.
Britain’s Murray, who has already reached round three, has lost five finals in the last seven years, four of them to Djokovic.