Spaniard Fernando Verdasco has sent compatriot Rafael Nadal packing from the Australian Open in a five set marathon.

Verdasco won the match 7-6(6) 4-6 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 in 4 hours and 41 minutes.

Nadal broke serve early in the fifth set to race to a 2-0 lead and appeared to have the monemtum, but the former world No.1 failed to win another game, with Verdasco reeling off six straight games to win the match in emphatic fashion.

Verdasco blasted an astonishing 90 winners, compared to his opponent's 37, hitting Nadal all over Rod Laver Arena.

The match brought back memories of the pair's 2009 semifinal epic at Melbourne park, which lasted over five hours, with Nadal eventually prevailing 6-4 in the fifth set.

It is only Nadal's second first round Grand Slam loss of his career and his earliest exit in an Australian Open.

Verdasco will now face Dudi Sela in the second round, who defeated Benjamin Becker in four sets earlier today.