Novak Djokovic: This is why I lost to Denis Istomin in Australian Open second round
NOVAK DJOKOVIC blamed a lack of rhythm but he had few answers to explain his shock loss to world No 117 Denis Istomin in the Australian Open second round.
Novak Djokovic believes he lacked rhythm in his defeat to Denis Istomin
Novak Djokovic led by two sets to one after more than three hours while Istomin was struggling with cramp.
But the Uzbekistani recovered to win the fourth set in a tie-break and triumphed 6-4 in the decider to seal the biggest win of his career.
And Djokovic, who beat Andy Murray in the final of the Qatar Open earlier this month, struggled to put his finger on exactly why he had suffered his earliest Australian Open exit in 11 years.
Denis Istomin secured the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic
"There was intensity, of course," Djokovic said.
"We played four-and-a-half hours.
"It's just that, you know, 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, you know, that's sport.
"I started the season very well. Again, it's a tennis match. On a given day, you can lose. I mean, nothing is impossible.
"What can I do? I did try my best till the last shot, but it didn't work."
Djokovic's demise leaves the draw wide open for world No 1 Murray, whom he has beaten in three of the last four finals.
The Scot dispatched Russian teenager Andrey Rublev in straight sets yesterday to set up a third-round tie with Sam Querrey on Friday.
Meanwhile Djokovic will look to recover from his defeat with his wife Jelena and two-year-old son Stefan.
"At the moment I just want to go home, spend time with my family, and that's all," Djokovic said.
"I'm not used to losing in Australian Open second round.
Novak Djokovic struggled to explain his defeat to Denis Istomin
"I've always played so well. Throughout the last 10 years, I've won six titles here.
"This court has been so nice to me. I enjoyed it very much.
"Of course, it's disappointing. But the end of the day I have to accept it."
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