Denis Istomin, who shocked world No. 2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne has been on the fringes of men’s professional tennis for a long time now, without actually being in the limelight. Born in Orenburg, Russia, the Uzbek turned professional in 2008. Till now, he has made three finals on the ATP circuit, winning one. He also has three doubles crowns with three different partners and has finished runner-up on two occasions.
Istomin beat Djokovic 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-2, 6-7(5), 4-6 in the second round at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
The World No.2 Serb has won the season’s first Grand Slam as many as six times, including the last two, but failed to enter the second week of the tournament this time around.
Istomin took four hours and 48 minutes to beat the second seeded Serb, who suffered only his second loss to a player ranked outside the top-100 in seven years.
The Uzbek has a career high ATP ranking of 33 in August, 2012, and is currently ranked 117.
His best performances in the Grand Slams are two fourth round appearances, at Wimbledon in 2012 and the US Open the next year.
The Australian Open has seen him making the third round four times, including his win on Wednesday over Djokovic. He also made it to the third round in 2010, 2014 and 2016.
The right-hander, who was coached initially by his mother, also made the French Open second round five times from 2009 to 2014, missing out once in 2011.
Istomin’s only professional title win came on the grass courts of Nottingham, where he won the Nottingham Open in 2015, beating American Sam Querrey.