Jannik Sinner won a first Grand Slam title in an incredible style, coming back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in a remarkable men’s singles final in Melbourne.
Medvedev, beaten twice before in the final on Rod Laver Arena – including a five-setter to Rafa Nadal in 2022 – became the first men’s player in history to lose two Grand Slam finals when two sets up.
It’s his fifth defeat in six major finals, while it also means Medvedev’s record at a hard court slam is now 50-2 after winning the opening set, with his only losses those two five-set defeats in the final.
After the defeat, Medvedev said:
“It’s three finals in a row, but congratulations Jannik, you deserved it. I’m gonna try to make it next time. I just want to thank everyone.”
Sinner, on the other hand, congratulated the loser, saying:
“Daniil, congrats to you and your team. You always make me a much, much better player. I hope you can also lift this trophy and I wish you the best for the rest of the season.”
In the first Australian Open final not to feature on of Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer since 2005, Sinner had no answer for Medvedev’s aggression early on as, despite his backbreaking 20 hours and 33 minutes spent on court in reaching the final, the Russian showed zero signs of fatigue.
Sinner, who, by contrast, had dropped only one set all tournament, swiftly lost his second as Medvedev took the opener, managing to do what Djokovic could not achieve in his semi-final defeat to the 22-year-old Italian.
The record 24-time Grand Slam winner failed to forge a single break point opportunity against Sinner’s serve in their clash, while Medvedev earned three of them in just his second service game, with a double-break clinching the opening set for the 2021 US Open champion.
Sinner nearly lost his serve again to start the second set, but battled through to save four break points in what appeared to be a crucial hold for the Italian – only for him to cede his next two service games anyway to fall behind 5-1.
He would lose the set, but a late rally by the world No 4 – immediately breaking Medvedev back, holding to 15 and then earning another break opportunity ultimately saved by the Russian.
Sinner would take the next two sets in identical fashion against an increasingly fatigued Medvedev, the world No 3’s gruelling hours spent on court beginning to tell, as the Italian would break from 5-4 up in both.
Sinner, who forced the pace, although a saved break point at 3-3 in the fourth set was a hugely pivotal moment for the eventual champion.
In the fifth, Sinner broke free of his opponent in the sixth game, going on to become the first Italian man to win a Grand Slam since Adriano Panatta in 1976 and the youngest to win the Australian Open since Djokovic in 2008.
Serving for the match, Sinner built a 30-0 advantage before being dragged back to 30-30 by Medvedev, but far from being unnerved, he belted back-to-back forehand winners to first earn championship point and then clinch a maiden slam in his first final.
Sinner added following his victory: “I’m so proud. It was a very tough match.
“He started off really well, he moved me around the court and I couldn’t make my game plan work. I was looking for small chances and, at some point, the match changed. I’m really happy with how I reacted.”