Australian Open men’s final 2024: Jannik Sinner beats Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne final

Australian Open men's final 2024: Jannik Sinner beats Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne final
Jannik Sinner clenches his fist at the 2024 Australian OpenGetty Images

Jannik Sinner landed the Grand Slam title he has long promised with an extraordinary fightback to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final.

Italy’s Sinner, 22, trailed by two sets before recovering to win 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in his first major final.

Fourth seed Sinner initially could not cope with the Russian’s pace but imposed himself as the contest wore on.

It was another bitter experience for Medvedev, who also blew a two-set lead against Rafael Nadal in the 2022 final.

A first-time champion in Melbourne was guaranteed after Sinner moved into his first major final by knocking out 10-time champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Sinner ensured his name goes on the trophy – fulfilling the talent that many had predicted would lead to a Grand Slam triumph – after an epic match lasting almost four hours.

Third seed Medvedev has lost five of his six major finals, including back-to-back finals to Djokovic in 2021 and Nadal in 2022 at Melbourne Park.

Sinner clinched victory with a forehand winner down the line, falling to his back on the baseline in celebration.

Medvedev trudged around the net to offer his congratulations before Sinner thumped his heart on his way to celebrate with his team.

Looking disconsolate as he tried to process the loss while sitting on his chair, Medvedev managed to give a thumbs-up to the crowd when they applauded his efforts.

“It hurts to lose in the final but probably being in the final is better than losing before,” Medvedev said.

“I always want to win and I guess I have to try harder next time.”

Marathon man Medvedev runs out of steam

So many players with the experience of a Grand Slam final have talked about how different the occasion can be, particularly if it is the first time, and potentially overwhelming.

Medvedev, whose sole major triumph came at the 2021 US Open, hoped his greater experience in these situations would tell against Sinner.

While Sinner did not appear to be hampered by nerves, Medvedev simply suffocated him with an attacking approach in the opening two sets which proved to be a smart strategy.

Ultimately, his defeat boiled down to endurance – and perhaps some mental scars from the defeat by Nadal on the same stage.

Medvedev had spent almost six hours more on court over the Melbourne fortnight than his younger opponent.

Three times he had to outlast his opponents in five-set matches and twice fought back from two sets down, including a remarkable semi-final against German sixth seed Alexander Zverev.

Before the final, Medvedev spoke about Sinner having the physical advantage and knew he would have to make a fast start to maximise his chances.

That was exactly what he managed to do.

However, he was unable to maintain the pace and ferocity of his groundstrokes, looking increasingly weary as Sinner fought back.

More to follow.

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Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman