When it comes to the best European tennis players in this age, one of the names that is sure to come up in any list will be Serbian pride, Novak Djokovic. Ever since embarking on his pro career in the sport in 2003, he has built a reputation as a strong contender, skilled enough to begin his own period of domination at the four Grand Slam tournaments, and now looking to add more at the 2017 Australian Open. Djokovic has been so awesome at this that at one point he was ranked number one in the world, until losing the spot to Scotland’s Andy Murray, whom he’s also joined in Melbourne as the top two seeds for males singles.

His good first round victory didn’t prepare tennis fans for what would happen in match number two.

Unexpected payback

Audiences on Thursday, January 19 were stunned into silence when the six-time Australian Open champ Djokovic was stopped from racing for his seventh title in the tournament by a magnificent upset win against an opponent from previous tournaments. Denis Istomin was the wildcard entry from Uzbekistan. Having scored straight-set victories against the Uzbek in all their six prior engagements, Djokovic seemed ready to power on through the second round. However that match at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, would throw everyone off their expectations when Istomin battled the Serb tennis superstar for 4 hours and 48 minutes, scoring 7-6 (10-8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to give him, ranked 117th the match.

For somebody taken by surprise, Djokovic was an inspiringly good sport about it saying, "All the credit to Denis for playing amazingly. He deserves to win." He also noted how the Uzbek really brought his full throttle during all the clutch moments done in their match, making his mark with very aggressive play. Though he may be disappointed at his own performance, Djokovic was all praises for Istomin beating him.

Momentous win

If Djokovic was magnanimous, Istomin is ecstatic. Last 2016 had seen his world ranking drop from the top 100 list, and more so he had yet to prevail over a top 10 ranked tennis pro during a Grand Slam tournament, until now. He sees it as his biggest win yet, and an assurance that he was, in his own words, ready to play with the big guys at the same level.

His last win over a top 10 player was against David Ferrer, ranked 5 during 2012, at Indian Wells. On Djokovic’s part, he was last stopped at the second round during a Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon 2008 against two-time Grand Slam winner Marat Safin. In other Australian Open news, Andy Murray is hoping that his ankle will last him through his third-round match against Sam Querrey of the US.