Jannik Sinner stuns Daniil Medvedev to claim Australian Open title

A floored Jannik Sinner takes time to reflect on winning the Australian Open men’s singles title on Sunday night.

A floored Jannik Sinner takes time to reflect on winning the Australian Open men’s singles title on Sunday night. Photo: Getty

Generation Next has arrived – with a bang – after Jannik Sinner roared back from two sets down to deny Daniil Medvedev in an epic Australian Open final in Melbourne.

In almost four thrilling hours, Sinner morphed from tennis’s next big thing to the sport’s new superstar with a pulsating 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 final triumph over Medvedev on Sunday night.

Two days after showcasing his sublime skills with a seismic semi-final takedown of 10-time champion Novak Djokovic, the 22-year-old Italian delivered a display full of heart and will to claim his maiden grand slam crown.

He is the first Italian to win the Australian Open and the youngest Australian Open men’s champion since Djokovic in 2008.

He is also the first Italian male to claim a grand slam since Adriano Panatta won the French Open in 1976.

“It is obviously a huge tournament for me,” Sinner said after becoming the first Italian to win the Open and also the youngest champion since Djokovic in 2008.

“I want to thank everyone for making this so special.

A focused Jannik Sinner stays in the match after securing the fourth set. Photo: Getty

“My team there, everyone who is in this box, also working from home who works with me, we are trying to get better every day.

“Even during the tournament we tried to get stronger, trying to understand every situation a little bit better so I’m so glad to have you there supporting me, understanding me, which sometimes is not easy because I am still a little bit young sometimes.”

Tennis great Lleyton Hewitt said Sinner’s performance was “unbelievable”.

“The mental strength in your first major to go down 2-0 and still have the inner belief that he was able to turn it around somehow, the two first sets were incredible tennis.”

Australian super-coach Darren Cahill repeatedly urged his special charge to “weather the storm” as Medvedev stormed through the first two sets to take a stranglehold on the match.

And Sinner duly delivered as the Russian world No.3 endured a painful case of deja vu on Rod Laver Arena.

Two years ago, Medvedev squandered a two-sets-to-love lead in a crushing finals loss to Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park.

Now lightning has struck twice with Medvedev sure to be haunted for years about his latest collapse, albeit entirely understandable.

The tennis ironman had toiled for an extraordinary 20 hours and 33 minutes just to make the title match and was bidding to join Djokovic as only the second player in the 56-year Open era to twice recover from two sets down to win a grand slam tournament.

Sinner, though, proved a bridge too far for Medvedev in the first AO final since 2005 not involving any of the sport’s big three of Djokovic, Nadal or Roger Federer.

Daniil Medvedev speaks with the chair umpire on Sunday night. Photo: Getty

Fourth-seeded Sinner entered the final as the hottest player on the planet.

His semi-final success over Djokovic ended the tennis super-Novak’s 33-match, six-year winning streak on Rod Laver Arena and appeared to signal the changing of the guard.

And so it proved, eventually after a titanic final duel in which the world No.4 had to pull out all stops to prevent Medvedev from capturing an elusive second major.

After not offering Djokovic a single break-point opportunity for the first time in the Serb’s illustrious 415-match grand slam career, Sinner’s serve faltered just two games into the title match.

Setting the tone early, Medvedev broke the Italian in the fourth game en route to taking the opening set in near-flawless fashion.

The Muscovite continued playing lights-out tennis in the second set to gain a stranglehold on the match.

Almost inevitably, though, in a grand slam featuring a record-equalling 35 five-set battles, the final took a dramatic twist.

Medvedev, almost out of the blue, dropped serve at 4-5 in both the third and fourth sets to set up a nerve-racking decider.

And it was Sinner who prevailed, breaking Medvedev for a fourth time in the sixth game of the fifth set, then holding form to seal victory after three hours and 44 drama-filled minutes.


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