Not even Denis Istomin can believe that he beat Novak Djokovic

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

It was only the second Top 10 win of Denis Istomin's career. (AP)

The upset of six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in Melbourne has given Denis Istomin new confidence in his ability.

The 117th-ranked wild card defeated the reigning champion in five sets for the biggest win of his career.

"I feel I can play with these guys, and to be with them on the same level,” the Uzbekistani said in his on-court interview after the match.

Before the tournament, he would have scoffed at the idea that he could keep up with Djokovic for more than four-and-a-half hours—and come away the winner.

"I would say, 'Are you crazy or what?’” he told reporters. "Especially in five sets, for sure. For me, [it] was impossible to think about [going] five sets with Novak, physically and mentally."

The former world No. 33 had to win the Asian wild-card playoffs just to get into the tournament—he had to save match points along the way—having fallen in the rankings because of injury.

"It was a good, good thing that I can play this tournament and get [a] wild card,” Istomin said. “Now I'm in [the] third round. So thanks, Australia, to organize this tournament.”

It was only the second Top 10 win of Istomin’s career. He’ll play Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round.

 

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email

More Stories

The TENNIS.com Podcast: Pro life from the perspective of Danielle Lao

The USC grad shares her highs and lows from five years as a pro after her best season yet.

Whitney Osuigwe, 16, clinches Australian Open wild card from USTA

She earned a main-draw berth by faring the best in recent lower-level tournaments.

What Alexander Zverev achieved in London with his ATP Finals title

For one, it was the first time Sascha has beaten two Top 5 players in the same tournament.