Jannik Sinner stuns Daniil Medvedev to win Australian Open
Posted on: 28 Jan, 2024 at 04:37 PM
Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports
Jannik Sinner captured his first Grand Slam title with a stunning 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open on Sunday in Melbourne.
Throughout the week, Medvedev had reigned over the five-set match, winning three of them, including two from two sets down. But it was Sinner's turn on Sunday.
"I am very proud," Sinner said. "It was a very tough match. He started off really well, he moved me around the court. I could not make my game plan work but somehow in the third set I was looking for the small chances, which I used. The match changed and I am really happy with how I corrected it. There are so many emotions right now. I have to sit down and process it but an unbelievable feeling."
Medvedev, the No. 3 seed from Russia, used a strong service game to jump up by two sets, winning 80 percent and 84 percent of points on his first serve, respectively. The No. 4-seeded Italian struggled on his serve, with Medvedev racking up four breaks in the first two sets while Sinner could convert just one.
In the third set, the players stayed on serve until the final game, when Medvedev couldn't close out the match on his own serve, with Sinner winning at deuce.
The fourth set followed the exact script.
By the fifth set, the wear on Medvedev's body throughout the grueling week began to show.
Once Sinner served to take a 3-2 lead, an ESPN graphic showed the path of the two players. At that point, ESPN said, Sinner had been on court during the fortnight 18 hours, 11 minutes.
Medvedev, who at 27 is five years older than Sinner, had spent just over 24 hours in match action.
Sinner went on to break Medvedev's serve in the following game, and Medvedev couldn't rebound with a break of his own.
"He played really, really well for the first two sets or 2 1/2 sets. I tried just to play even level, trying to take a couple of chances in the third set, which I've done," Sinner said. "When you win one very important game, the match can change occasionally, and that was the case today.
"I just tried to stay as long in the court as possible, knowing that he has spent so many hours on the court. The more the match goes on, maybe physically I'm a little bit better today, because he played so many hours. I think that today that was the key."
Medvedev acknowledged the tournament's long matches took a toll on his body Sunday.
"I got a little tired physically, but (in) every other match before, my opponents didn't manage to take advantage of it," Medvedev said. "During the match, every time it was the same story, after two sets, my energy level dropped, was dropping because I didn't have a perfect sleep, I was playing long before.
"So let's call it my fault because I needed to win easier matches, but sometimes it's tough."
The three-hour, 44-minute match could not have been closer.
In all, Sinner won 142 of the 283 points; Medvedev won 141.
This was the third Australian Open final for Medvedev, who lost to 10-time winner Novak Djokovic in 2021 and to Rafael Nadal in 2022. The loss to Nadal was another five-set heartbreaker that Medvedev couldn't close after taking a two-set lead.
Sinner was playing in his first Grand Slam final. His previous best finish in a major came last year at Wimbledon.
He became the first Italian man to win a Grand Slam event since Adriano Panatta in 1976.
--Field Level Media