Sin-sational! Italian stallion inflicts deja vu nightmare on Medvedev as incredible fightback clinches Aus Open glory
Jannik Sinner has become the newest Grand Slam champion, the fourth seed coming back from two sets to love down against Daniil Medvedev to clinch a remarkable maiden major Australian Open title.
Sinner looked dead and buried early in the third set as the world No.3 brought up a break point, having overpowered the Italian with some brutal ball-striking to claim the first two 6-3, 6-3.
But from the brink, the 22-year old, who had established himself as one of the heirs apparent to the ‘Big 3’ of men’s tennis in Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with a dominant run at Melbourne Park in 2024, would outlast the flagging Medvedev, with the nearly six fewer hours he spent on court in the lead-in to the final ultimately proving crucial.
For Medvedev, the 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 loss is a cruel repeat of his infamous 2022 loss to Rafael Nadal in that year’s Australian Open final, also from two sets to love down.
However, having set a pair of Open Era records during the decider – his 31 played sets the most ever at a Slam, with his 24 hours and 17 minutes on court also a new benchmark – the 27-year old simply had nothing in the tank to stop Sinner storming home.
“I think it is also worth saying, without any question, this is incredibly courageous from Medvedev given everything he’s been through,” Nine commentator and former Australian Open champion Jim Courier said early in the fifth set.
“Given everything he’s been through, given his feet are taped up likely from all of this sliding and exertion, this guy is showing his physical toughness and it is an immense engine that he has.
” This is quite amazing actually that he is able to be on his feet, given everything he has been through.
“It would be one thing if he was playing all these long matches and they were quick points and he was the offensive guy not having to dig in the corners. But this guy, he spent so much energy on point per average than most players.
“This is mind blowing that he is still playing at this level in the match.”
With a notable increase in power on both forehand and backhand wings, Medvedev stormed out of the blocks to break Sinner twice in the first set – a notable setback for the Italian, who hadn’t faced so much as a break point during his semi-final win over ten-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.
When he raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set with another pair of breaks, the Sinner forehand becoming increasingly erratic as he searched for a spark, the final looked set to become a rout.
However, while the set was lost, the 22-year old would finally find his best tennis, breaking Medvedev back to at least slow the third seed’s momentum.
Having staved off an early Medvedev threat in the third set, it would take Sinner until its final game to at last break his opponent’s serve to keep himself alive.
Looking the more likely player with every passing game as Medvedev began to flag, with his feet requiring aid from the tournament physio, Sinner would again strike in the tenth game to take the fourth set, and ensure he’d serve first in the decider.
A 27-stroke rally that Sinner eventually clinched would just about sap the last of the world No.3’s energy; while he would at least force the Italian to serve for the match, and despite a nervously framed backhand early in the game, Sinner would hold his nerve to become the first male born in the 21st century to claim the men’s singles crown at Melbourne Park.
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