Jannik Sinner of Italy captured his first major singles title after storming back from two sets down to outlast Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the Australian Open men’s final.
The Italian wore down an exhausted Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 44 minutes.
Sinner lived up to the considerable hype in his Grand Slam tournament coronation having also stunned No. 1 Novak Djokovic with a spectacular performance in the semifinals.
Three-time finalist Medvedev showed remarkable powers of endurance during a grueling campaign in Melbourne, which included four five-set matches. But he ran out of gas to slump to his fourth defeat in a Grand Slam final.
Medvedev’s only major triumph was at the US Open in 2021 when he beat Djokovic in straight sets, in an historic match that prevented Djokovic from earning the rare Grand Slam sweep of all four majors in one season.
Medvedev was rated the underdog despite his considerable edge in experience over 22-year-old Sinner, who was making his debut in a Grand Slam final.
But Medvedev stormed out of the blocks and was pinpoint accurate on return to rattle Sinner, whose serve had been almost faultless throughout the tournament. The Russian broke four times to gain a two sets advantage and he also hit the lines to run Sinner ragged.
Sinner dug deep in the third set and found rhythm on serve before breaking Medvedev in the 10th game to breathe life into the match.
Sinner again made his move by breaking in the 10th game to force a deciding set, as Medvedev’s hopes nosedived with his battered body laboring around the court.
Sinner grabbed the decisive break in the sixth game before he calmly served it out and slumped to the court in celebration after securing his maiden Grand Slam title.
“What I have done, not last year, two years ago, getting to know my body better, getting to know my team better, this was a very important step for me,” Sinner said at the post-match conference.
“Then last year we tried to have some more results. I started off really well from the indoor tournaments, Indian Wells, Miami, I made the semifinal and final. Then in Monaco I also made the semifinal, then the semis in Wimbledon, so I had very good results. I think that made me believe that I can compete against the best players in the world,” he noted.
The 22-year-old Italian also told reporters that he started to feel the match was swinging in his favor when he broke Medvedev in the fourth set.
“I started to feel like, okay, I’m there. I can do it. Because the one break in the third set on 5-4, I broke him, went 6-4, it was obviously maybe the most important break I’ve done today, because it made me have one set and then see how he reacts. But if I have to choose, I guess it was the break in the fourth set,” said Sinner. ■