Australian Bernard Tomic secured a massive upset by beating world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in their Hopman Cup tennis clash in Perth last night.
Tomic was at his sizzling best during the straight-sets romp, unleashing a flurry of winners to notch his second career win over Djokovic and give Australia a vital 1-0 lead over top-ranked Serbia in the mixed-teams event.
The 20-year-old Queenslander entered the match having lost all three of his ATP matches against Djokovic, including their quarter- final stoush at Wimbledon in 2011.
Tomic did get one over Djokovic in a light-hearted exhibition match at the Kooyong Tennis Classic in 2010.
But his latest victory marks a significant step forward in Tomic's development as a future world beater.
Tomic, who has slipped to a ranking of 52 after reaching a career-high of 27 last June, frustrated Djokovic during an entertaining opening set.
Djokovic had to save four break points in his first service game, and even had his plea for a change of balls approved after complaining they were too soft.
But the 25-year-old couldn't repeat the feat in the ninth game, with three scintillating winners from Tomic securing the crucial break.
Earlier in the night, former French Open tennis champion Francesca Schiavone showed her fighting qualities as Italy beat Germany, 2-1.
Needing to win her singles match to keep Italy alive in the tie and the mixed-teams tournament, the world No.35 was a set and a break down while battling stomach pain against little-known German Tatjana Malek.
But she rallied determinedly to win in three sets.
Malek arrived from Miami to replace the injured Andrea Petkovic in the tournament less than 12 hours before her match.
But the German recovered from a shaky start to stun her more-fancied opponent in the first set.
Things were going to script when Schiavone won the first three games of the match, but the 112th-ranked Malek won the next eight games in succession as the veteran made a string of uncharacteristic, and often inexplicable, errors.
Schiavone's woes were summed up by the simple forehand error that handed the German the first set.
Just when an upset loomed, the 32-year-old Schiavone was able to claw her way back into the match as fatigue appeared to start affecting Malek.
Although she was well down on her best form, Schiavone was able to prevail 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"It was not easy today," she acknowledged afterwards.
Schiavone and teammate Andreas Seppi then clinched the tie with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Tommy Haas and Malek in the mixed doubles.