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Istomin stuns Djokovic, Nadal rips apart Marcos

Istomin stuns Djokovic, Nadal rips apart Marcos
Highlights

Uzbekistan\'s Denis Istomin stunned second seed and World No 2 Novak Djokovic to move into the 3rd round of the Australian Open.

Melbourne: Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin stunned second seed and World No 2 Novak Djokovic to move into the 3rd round of the Australian Open. Wildcard entrant Istomin matched Djokovic shot for shot to win 7-6(8), 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in a 4-and-a-half-hour contest at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

It was six-time-champion Djokovic's earliest elimination from MelbournePark since his first round exit in 2006. Hours after Djokovic crashed out, Rafael Nadal raised hopes of filling the power vacuum after demolishing Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the third round.

Serena Williams charged into the third round with an emphatic 6-3, 6-4 win over Czech Lucie Safarova. The second seeded American, bidding for a seventh title at Melbourne Park, served up a storm, clubbing 15 aces and 35 winners in the 86-minute contest under the lights at Rod Laver Arena.

Williams next faces compatriot Nicole Gibbs for a place in the fourth round. Third seed and former semi-finalist Agnieszka Radwanska was knocked out of the second round by Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, becoming the highest seed to fall in the women's draw at Melbourne Park. The world number 79 Lucic-Baroni left Radwanska and the Margaret Court Arena crowd stunned with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of the Pole in the late afternoon match.

Third seed Milos Raonic continued his machine-like advance through the Australian Open on Thursday, easing past Gilles Muller 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the third round. Another seed, Spain’s David Ferrer fought back from a set down to defeat 20-year-old Ernesto Escobedo 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 and advance to round 3.

In another match that went similarly, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov took out Korea's Hyeon Chung 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova gave Russian teenager Anna Blinkova a massive wakeup call to the realities of grand slam tennis with a 6-0, 6-2 Australian Open second round romp in just 59 minutes on Thursday.

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