Defending champion Novak Djokovic was stunned by world No. 117 Denis Istomin in the second round of the 2017 Australian Open on Thursday as he was knocked out in a thrilling five-set clash.

The world No. 2 and six-time previous winner in Melbourne was downed 7-6(8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena to leave his side of the men’s draw very open indeed.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams passed a stern test in beating Lucie Safarova in straight sets, and Rafael Nadal cruised past Marcos Baghdatis in a classy display.

Here are some of the key results from the day’s action:

Australian Open 2017: Selected Thursday Results
Men’s Singles Score
Denis Istomin bt. (2) Novak Djokovic 7-6(8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
(9) Rafael Nadal bt. Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
(3) Milos Raonic bt. Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4)
(8) Dominic Thiem bt. Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4
(6) Gael Monfils bt. Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-0
Women’s Singles Score
(2) Serena Williams bt. Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-4
(9) Johanna Konta bt. Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-2
(5) Karolina Pliskova bt. Anna Blinkova 6-0, 6-2
(6) Dominika Cibulkova bt. Su-Wei Hsieh 6-4, 7-6(8)
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni bt. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2

For full Thursday results, visit the Australian Open website.

Thursday Recap

There were signs that Djokovic could be in for a tricky day from the off in an 85-minute opening set that saw Istomin grow in confidence and the 12-time Grand Slam winner struggle for consistency.

Some impressive hitting earned the Uzbek player the first set in a tiebreak, and he continued to hassle Djokovic in the second set.

However, as is so often the way with the Serb, he eventually found his footing and won the next two sets to close in on a third-round spot.

It seemed inevitable that, having claimed the momentum, Djokovic would go on to win. But it was Istomin who took the fourth in another tense tiebreak after squandering several set points, per the New York Times‘ Ben Rothenberg:

He then produced a backhand winner of pure class in the fifth game of the decider to earn the crucial break and was nerveless in serving out the match for the biggest win of his career.

Serena’s winning scoreline of 6-3, 6-4 suggested an easy day for the American, but Safarova put up a fight in the 85-minute contest.

The Czech player made Williams work for her holds of serve throughout the match but could not take any of the six break points she earned.

Conversely, Serena claimed a key break late in each set to see her to victory, both of them coming partially due to badly-timed double-faults from Safarova, per the Australian Open:

Nadal looked close to his brilliant best against Baghdatis as he saw off the challenge of the Cypriot in a little over two hours.

He converted match point with an exquisite inside-out forehand, a shot that epitomised a performance of great class.

Per the Australian Open, Nadal looked every inch the player who has won 14 career Grand Slams:

Djokovic’s shock defeat eclipsed all other stories on Thursday in Melbourne but there were some notable other upsets in the women’s draw.

Most significantly, world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, a serious contender for the title ahead of the tournament, was thrashed 6-3, 6-2 by 34-year-old Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.  

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