Salvatore Caruso's unexpected moment in the spotlight as the 'lucky loser' replacing nine-time winner Novak Djokovic ended in defeat in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday.

The Italian world number 150 earned a place in the main draw when top seed and defending champion Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament, after Caruso initially failed to win a spot through qualifying.

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Caruso went down 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 to Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic and picked up $50,000 Australian dollars (US$36,000) in prize money.

In five previous bids at Melbourne Park, Caruso reached the second round just once and has now only won six of the 16 matches he has played at Grand Slam level.