Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Australian Open 2024: Jannik Sinner claims first Grand Slam title in epic comeback win over Daniil Medvedev

After almost four hours, Jannik Sinner climbed back from a two-set deficit to win his first ever Grand Slam title with an epic 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 comeback victory against Daniil Medvedev. Sinner became the first Italian man to win the Australian Open since 1976, and just the eighth man to successfully come back from two sets down in a major final.

Sinner collapsed on the floor after his victory and took a moment to soak it all in at Rod Laver Arena.

“We are trying to get better everyday, and even during the tournament, trying to get stronger and understand the situation a little bit better,” Sinner said. “It is not easy as I am still a little bit young, but I want to thank everyone.”

Sinner, 22, is now the youngest male player to win the Australian Open since Novak Djokovic in 2008. As faith would have it, Sinner made it to this final by defeating Djokovic in the semifinal round. He did not drop a single set until his meeting with Djokovic, and that win in itself was an accomplishment as Djokovic was riding a 33-match winning streak at the Australian Open and had never lost a semifinal in Melbourne. 

Before this tournament, Sinner’s deepest run had been making it to the Wimbledon semifinal in 2023. 

This was the first Australian Open final since 2005 without any of the “Big 3” — Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Rodger Federer. Federer has officially retired, and Nadal had to pull out of this tournament due to injury.

Sinner was playing from behind, but he forced the decisive fifth set through a valiant comeback effort. Both players were visibly tired from the competitive battle. Medvedev had to survive three five-set matches to reach this final, and he been on the court for more than 20 total hours entering his match against Sinner. Medvedev, in fact, broke the record for the most sets ever played at a major tournament. 

It seems all of that took a toll on Medvedev as he needed his right foot taped in the fourth set. Medvedev has only won one Grand Slam title, but this was his third time playing in the Australian Open final. Medvedev is now 1-5 in Grand Slam finals overall. It was a painful defeat, but he congratulated Sinner for his accomplishment. 

“Today, you showed why you deserved it,” Medvedev told Sinner. “You fought until the end, you managed to raise your level.”

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