Istomin: I surprised myself

Denis Istomin revealed that he was as surprised as everyone else following his thrilling win over Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open on Thursday. 

The Uzbekistan native upset the defending champion in a five-set thriller lasting nearly five hours in the Rod Laver Arena.

While there were moments when the tide had clearly turned Djokovic's way, Istomin never stopped believing and would go on to rack up 12 winners in the fifth set to edge the indomitable Serb.

All this from a player who was forced to save no less than four match points against a world number 319 in the qualifiers just to make the main draw of the Melbourne event.

"It is the biggest win [of my career] for me and means so much, now I feel I can play with these guys and be with them on the same level," the 30-year-old told the press. 

"From the third set I had cramp in my leg, I don't know how I held it. I was playing so good. I surprised myself."

Istomin added that while he is ecstatic to have unseated the Australian Open King from his throne, the physical nature of the match had taken its toll.

"It is unreal," continued the world number 117. 

"To beat Novak in five sets, it's a great win. I'm still feeling a little bit tired. I didn't expect to be doing what I'm doing now and what I did on the court. I like the way I am playing. I feel just tired. I am not thinking, 'I just beat the world number two'…"

Istomin is one of the more unique players on the ATP. Aside from being the only Uzbekistani in the top 300, he has a coach that has known him all his life: His mom.

"We have a good relationship and we understand each other very well," the one-time ATP winner said of his mother Klaudiya, who introduced him to the sport.

"She always tries to help me with everything, not just tennis, normal life as well. She gives me good words to improve my tennis, my life, everything. I'm happy to be coached by my mum."

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