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Australian Open

Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic stunned by Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin

Serbian world number two loses 7-6 (10-8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes on Rod Laver Arena

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 4:36pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 4:38pm

Defending champion Novak Djokovic was sensationally knocked out in the second round of the Australian Open by Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin on Thursday.

The 117th-ranked Istomin beat the six-time winner 7-6 (10-8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Istomin made the vital break in the fifth game of the deciding set, then held service the rest of the way

In a 15-minute opening game, Djokovic saved six break points and in the second set, he appeared to hyperextend his left leg in the third game, and spent much of the following break stretching it over a chair.

In the 10th game of that set, Djokovic saved two sets points after serving a double-fault.

But Djokovic broke in the following game to lead 6-5, then held his service with four consecutive points to take the set.

Djokovic clinched the third set when he successfully challenged a line call.

Istomin had a set point in the 10th game of the fourth set, then went ahead 5-1 in the tiebreaker before slamming down an ace to send the contest to a fifth-set decider.

Additional reporting by Associated Press