Jannik Sinner wins his first major championship in the Australian Open

Jannik Sinner wins his first major championship | Image Credit: skysports.com
Jannik Sinner wins his first major championship | Image Credit: skysports.com

Australian city of Melbourne In Sunday’s Australian Open men’s final, Jannik Sinner stunned Daniil Medvedev by winning 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 after trailing two sets to none.

With just one set dropped going into the championship match, fourth-seeded Sinner looked certain to fall in straight sets as third-seeded Medvedev breezed to an early two-set lead. However, the Italian settled in halfway through the championship match and won a struggle of will and stamina that lasted three hours and forty-four minutes.

Sinner has won his first major championship in his professional career, while Medvedev has established an unwelcome record by losing repeated finals after winning the opening two sets in Grand Slam history. Rafael Nadal also had a two-set lead over Medvedev in Melbourne in 2022, but Medvedev blew it.

After losing two sets to one in little over an hour, Sinner said, “I was in a little bit of difficulty today.” “I simply tried to maintain my good attitude and follow the game plan, which required some minor adjustments. Daniil is a fantastic warrior as well as a fantastic player, as he demonstrated once more.”

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The 22-year-old Sinner began his maiden Slam final hesitantly. Considering that Sinner had held serve for 86 of 88 service games prior to Sunday, Medvedev’s break in the third game of the match was no small accomplishment.

In an opening set that lasted just 36 minutes, the Russian played with aggressiveness and speed from the start, setting terms for Sinner and scoring 14 wins to the Italian’s five.

Sinner struggled to hold his first service game in the second set and needed to save four break point opportunities to even the score at one. It appeared that his jitters were still there. After the two traded breaks later in the stanza, Medvedev held to love before putting Sinner back on the defensive and broke for a 3-1 lead on route to winning the second set.

Sinner was careless, missing wide or throwing balls long, in sharp contrast to the six matches leading up to the championship where he only lost one set—against Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal.

Sinner just needed to prolong the game, though. The second greatest amount of time any man has spent on court going into a major final, Medvedev had spent 20 hours and 33 minutes as of Sunday, and it was beginning to show.
Medvedev slowed down in the middle of the third set after coming out of the blocks strong, serving and hitting with purpose. After losing 15 unforced mistakes and seeing his first-serve percentage drop from 86% in the first set to 50% in the third, Sinner broke in the tenth game of the set to win it 6-4.

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In the fourth set, Sinner’s performance improved while Medvedev’s faltered. Long rallies had been Medvedev’s friend throughout this tournament, but as his game started to suffer from exhaustion, they were starting to work against him. And to thunderous cheers in Rod Laver Arena, Sinner kept chipping away at Medvedev’s lead, coming through once more in the tenth game to force a final set.

In the fourth set, Medvedev had a great opportunity, but in the seventh game, he wasted a break-point opportunity. He would not receive a second chance at Sinner’s serve, as the Italian dominated the fourth and the opening few games of the fifth, positioning himself to win the decisive 6-3 and claim his maiden Grand Slam victory.

Sinner is only the second Italian male Grand Slam winner, having previously won the 1976 French Open with Adriano Panatta. The other two Italian Grand Slam winners are Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone, who took home the women’s US Open and French Open titles in 2010 and 2015, respectively.

Sinner acknowledged that it was difficult to feel under pressure when he was behind two sets, but he was “very satisfied” with the way he overcame hardship on the major stage.

“He performed really well for the first two or two and a half sets. I simply tried to play at a level where I could attempt to take a few risks in the third set, which I did,” he remarked. “The match may occasionally alter after you win a very key game, and that was the case tonight.”Knowing that he has spent so many hours on the court, I just attempted to remain as long as I could. The longer the game goes on, the more likely it is that I’ll be physically stronger today since he put in so many hours of play. That, I believe, was the key today.”

For Medvedev, who has made three finals at the Australian Open—his most of any Slam—he has lost all three times, so the competition will always be bittersweet.

He added that after playing the most sets of any player at a major, thirty-one, he had been fatigued and that the Australian Open this year had been “by far” the hardest event he had ever participated in.

“Physically, I became a little exhausted, but in the previous matches, my opponents were unable to capitalise on that,” Medvedev stated. “Every time it was the same thing throughout the match, after two sets, my energy level decreased, was lowering because I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was playing a lot earlier.”I wanted to win simpler matches, so let’s just say that I’m to blame, but sometimes things are difficult.”

Medvedev faced an uphill battle from history, since no one has ever won a major event in five sets in the semifinal, quarterfinal, or championship match.

The longest-running final equals the record for most five-set matches in a major with the 1983 US Open and establishes a new record for the most five-set matches played at an Australian Open.

After his historic victory, Sinner will remain ranked fourth in the world, while Medvedev will occupy the third spot. A chasm is expected to form up between the current top four and fifth-placed Andrey Rublev.


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