2017 Australian Open Day 4

2017 Australian Open Day 4 - Djokoivc Out! (photo: Australian Open)

2017 Australian Open Day 4 – Djokoivc Out! (photo: Australian Open)

2017 Australian Open day 4 was a fairly routine affair. Those who were expected to win, won, and very little out of the ordinary happened. Well, except Novak Djokovic losing to 117th ranked wildcard, Denis Istomin.

No big deal.

As Expected

The rest of the men’s second round matches played out largely as expected on day four of the Australian Open. Dominic Thiem took down Jordan Thompson in three comfortable sets and one uncomfortable one (6—2, 6—1, 6—7(6—8), 6—4).

Benoit Paire overcame Fabio Fognini 7—6(7—3), 4—6, 6—3, 3—6, 6—3. Richard Gasquet had a comprehensive victory over Carlos Berlocq, defeating him 6—1, 6—1, 6—1. David Ferrer and Roberto Bautista Agut came through their respective matches to set up a third round tie with each other. David Goffin coasted past veteran Radek Stepanek 6—4, 6—0, 6—3.

All in all, pretty much what we expected.

Rafa’s Run Rolls On

The King of Clay’s return to the big stage continues. Rafael Nadal eased past Marcos Baghdatis 6—3, 6—1, 6—3 late on the Rod Laver arena. Nadal acknowledged his promising run while being a little self-critical.

I think I can do things better, is true. I need to have some less mistakes. But in general, I have been playing well.

Both players remarked on the stark difference in the way the ball moved. The temperature had dropped to 19 degrees Celsius, a mite lower than the 38 high Tuesday.

Six Time Champion Knocked Out

Okay, let’s talk about that match.

 

Istomin took the first set in a tiebreaker, but the ship was soon righted when Djokovic came out and took the next two sets. Few worried for the Serb; he’s been the perpetrator of many seemingly impossible comebacks in the past. Being a set down in a five set match is nothing he couldn’t handle, and when he went a set up, it all seemed over.

Then it wasn’t.

Istomin came out strong in the fourth set, taking it by another tiebreak. Still we felt that Djoker had it in the bag. I don’t think many expected Istomin to break Nole in the decider and go on to take the set 6—4. The final score was 7—6(10—8), 5—7, 2—6, 7—6(7—5), 6—4, and history was made.

As per the Australian Open day 4 wrap up, Djokovic has only lost to a player outside the top 100 once in the last seven years. And that was Juan Martin Del Potro so it hardly counts as outside top 100. It’s also the first time since 2008 that he’s gone out of a Grand Slam so early.

Djokovic was characteristically graceful in defeat, though it leaves many of us wondering what is going on with the Serb.

I hope we’re not seeing the final decline of the potential GOAT (certainly a contender).

And I say that as a staunch Murray fan.

John Bullock

Maker of digital (and sometimes physical) things. Attention span of a

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