20for20 #17: 2017 2R, Istomin vs Djokovic

Coming in at #18 on the list of Australian Open Classics is one of tennis history's greatest upsets, a stunner that truly nobody could have seen coming. Novak Djokovic had ruled the courts of Melbourne Park for 6 years now, going 40-1 and reigning supreme over the top competition with a pristine 8-0 record against the Big 4. Istomin, ranked #117 in the world, had seemingly less than a 0% chance on paper.

But after an epic first game that Djokovic survived after facing down several break points, Istomin proved he was not fazed by the challenge. He played fearless powerful tennis to take the 1st set in a tiebreak. But as all champions do, Djokovic sensed the danger and struck back with a vintage shotmaking display to claim the next 2 sets.
Any illusions that order had been restored were shattered when Istomin broke right back in the 4th. Djokovic fought back, displaying his trademark athleticism to level the set, but his efforts were in vain as Istomin kept the pressure on and forced a decider. The stunned commentators and the capacity Melbourne crowd waited for that inevitable drop in the Uzbek journeyman's level, but it never came. A scorching backhand down the line delivered Istomin the decisive break, and he coolly served it out to take down the 6-time champion in arguably the biggest upset in Grand Slam history, 7-6(8) 5-7 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4.
The loss brought an end to Djokovic's unparalleled AO dominance, and irreparably dented his confidence. He went without a big title in 2017 and sank to #22 in the world by 2018, while Istomin faded back into obscurity after scoring the win of his life.

Enjoy!
 
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Very impressive, considering 2017 AO Joker was at a higher level than 2015-2016 since he had an additional 1-2 years of practice and experience :oops:

Doubt it. It's tough to evaluate his 2017 AO performance because he ran into one of those dangerous journeymen who became a God for a day, but I doubt he would've lost had he faced a similar threat in 2016.
 
Not even a bit, my friend.
Which upsets really outshine this one? The only ones I can think of are Soderling and Rosol's wins over Nadal, but in Soderling's case he went on to become one of the world's top claycourters, and in Rosol's case, Nadal at Wimbledon was nowhere near as dominant as the Djoker was in Melbourne. Becker-Doohan also comes to mind, but 19-year old Becker did not have near the day-in day-out consistency as Djokovic did at the apex of his career.
 
Which upsets really outshine this one? The only ones I can think of are Soderling and Rosol's wins over Nadal, but in Soderling's case he went on to become one of the world's top claycourters, and in Rosol's case, Nadal at Wimbledon was nowhere near as dominant as the Djoker was in Melbourne. Becker-Doohan also comes to mind, but 19-year old Becker did not have near the day-in day-out consistency as Djokovic did at the apex of his career.
Look up Becker's Wimbledon results, "no consistency" lol. Other tournaments don't matter in this discussion since the upset happened at Wimbledon. 11/12 QFs excluding injury between 1985 and 1997, except this one upset by an absolute journeyman.
 
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