NOVAK Djokovic's stranglehold on Melbourne Park is over, the six-time Australian Open winner stunned by world No.117 Denis Istomin.

Djokovic went into the match having lost just one set in five meetings against the man from Uzbekistan but found the underdog too gritty.

Istomin held his nerve in the fifth set after breaking Djokovic and closed it out in a marathon four hours and 50 minutes.

He won 7-6 5-7 2-6 7-6 6-4.

After the match Istomin told a packed Rod Laver Arena he surprised even himself.

"First of all, I feel sorry for Novak. I was playing so good today," the 30-year-old said.

"I mean, I surprised myself also today.

"I want to thank my team, mum. We do good job. And thank you, guys. You guys are amazing."


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