Andy Murray is now odds on to win the Australian Open men’s singles after Novak Djokovic suffered a surprise defeat and crashed out in the second round.
The 12-time grand slam champion fell victim to one of the greatest shocks in grand slam history as he lost 7-6 (10/8) 5-7 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-4 to Uzbek wildcard Denis Istomin.
The result leaves Murray in pole position at odds of 4/5 to claim his first title at Melbourne Park while after winning four grand slams in a row between 2015 and 2016, Djokovic has now gone three without adding to his 12 major triumphs.
He completed the set by lifting the French Open title last year but has since lost in the third round at Wimbledon, the first round at the Olympics, the final at the US Open and now the second round here.
Asked if his long-awaited victory at Roland Garros had taken the edge off his hunger, Djokovic said: “I don't know. I mean, it's not a time now to go so deep into it. I didn't reflect on that at all at this stage. I started a new season, a new year, as everybody else did. I forgot about it, in a way. It's not affecting me.”
After his disappointing second half of 2016, the new season was supposed to represent a fresh start for Djokovic, who began by beating Murray at the Qatar Open earlier this month.
Defeat to Istomin, however, ranked 117th in the world, halts his revival and raises questions about the world number two's drive to reach his former heights.
Istomin, meanwhile, goes through to face 30th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in a quarter of the draw that has been blown wide open. Grigor Dimitrov is now 2/1 to be the semi-finalist from this section of the draw, followed by David Goffin and Dominic Thiem at 7/2.
This was only Istomin's second win in 34 career matches against a top-10 opponent but he was virtually unplayable at times, hitting 63 winners and reeling off 17 aces, many in crucial moments. Despite his performance, he can be backed at 11/5 to beat Carreno Busta in the next round.