MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Jannik Sinner of Italy celebrates winning championship point in their Men's Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev during the 2024 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Tennis | Australian Open 2024 | Jannik Sinner compliments hard work after winning ‘special’ Grand Slam title
Jannik Sinner is a Grand Slam champion after he defeated Daniil Medvedev in five sets to claim his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. The Italian walked onto Rod Laver Arena as he was making his debut in a Grand Slam final while Medvedev was competing in his sixth and his third in Melbourne. That experience was evident early on in the match as the world number three was aggressive on both on serve and return against a passive Sinner.
An early sign that Medvedev wasn’t willing to go the distance this time around having already played three five set matches in this tournament. There were long rallies but Medvedev would have the last laugh in the early stages as some clinical forehands secured an early break for a 2-1 lead.
There was a good response from Sinner as he played aggressive tennis from the baseline, moving Medvedev from side-to-side forcing the third seed into deep positions. However Medvedev continued to step inside the court, playing aggressive returns as he forced Sinner into rushed shot-making. An emphatic opening set was sealed with a second break of serve as a missed backhand from Sinner allowed Medvedev to take the opening set 6-3.
The acceleration of pace continued from Medvedev in the second set as he kept taking the ball early on the forehand, creating three break points. Some incredible all-court play allowed Sinner to hang on as he was looking for any weakness from Medvedev to capitalise on.
However that hold of serve was only delaying the inevitable as Medvedev’s aggression on return was rewarded with a break of serve at 3-1. It wasn’t just Medvedev’s baseline game that was impressive as the world number three came into the net to finish off points efficiently and effectively.
There was momentum building for Sinner towards the end of the set though as the Italian broke straight back after conceding the double break lead and started to read Medvedev’s serves more easily. Frustration was growing for Medvedev as a wild end to the set was produced which allowed the Italian to be more confident on the forehand. Eventually Medvedev closed out the set after saving break point as the third seed took a two set lead.
The last time Medvedev took a two set lead in an Australian Open final, the third seed ended up losing to Rafael Nadal and was hoping to avoid the same fate two years later. There did seem to be a lack of energy to Medvedev in the third set though as Sinner improved his serving consistency which neutralized the returning aggression of Medvedev.
Now Medvedev was stepping behind the baseline even further allowing Sinner to be proactive and aggressive with both players becoming efficient on serve in the third set. Despite Sinner’s dominance there wasn’t any breakthrough as Medvedev proved too clinical on serve with the wide serve in particular proving effective in this tense third set.
Finally the breakthrough came in the tenth game as Sinner found Medvedev out of position and the world number three nailed a forehand long. A long stare into the ground and to his coaching team as a rise smile arose from Sinner’s face. Game on as the Italian grinded out the third set and the comeback was on.
Momentum was with Sinner as the Italian was now the one dictating play on return and creating break points. All of the sudden, the world number three seemed out of energy and ideas as the Sinner forehand was doing damage. Despite the momentum, breaking Medvedev was going to be easier said than done as Medvedev’s experience ensured he held off the early pressure from the world number four.
A key mini-battle for Sinner was the eighth game as the Italian saved break point to hold for 4-3 as the Italian now started to believe this could be his day. Just like the third set, Sinner made his move in the fourth set as he moved into the net as he tested Medvedev’s defensive skills. Medvedev’s defence faltered when it mattered most as a shanked forehand long secured the fourth set for Sinner and the two-time former finalist would have to play a fifth set for the fourth time in this tournament.
It would prove to be one match too many for Medvedev as he started to wear out in the deciding set as he was entering his 31st set of tennis over the fortnight. Ironically Medvedev had won most of his five set matches when two sets down so it was only fitting that he was to lose the final from two sets up. The Italian flawless controlled the fifth set with his forehand as he comfortably secured the crucial break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead with destiny now in his hands.
The 22-year-old needed no further invitation as he secured a first Grand Slam title with a thunderous forehand down-the-line on his first championship point. A fall to the floor as Sinner achieved history and claimed a Grand Slam title that will live in his and Italian tennis’ hearts for the rest of time.
Sinner compliments hard work after historic Grand Slam title
A historic occasion for Sinner as he claimed his first Grand Slam title in his first Grand Slam final as he came from two sets down to defeat Medvedev.
The win was also the first for an Italian at the Australian Open in singles as Sinner claimed a historic title for his country.
Speaking after the match Sinner described winning the title as ‘special’ and admits it’s a privilege to win a title like this.
“It’s special, because it’s a big trophy,” Sinner told the ATP website.
“It feels special when you see the big names in the draw and you can win it, because I feel even more privileged to only be in the draw and then trying to win against other players.
“The more you go on, you see fewer people around in the locker room or in the eating area. This makes you feel, ‘Okay, I’m doing a good tournament at the moment’. That was exactly the feeling I had in the last three rounds or so, because from the quarters it was quite empty. I think that is a really, really good feeling.”
Sinner’s win will feel even more special knowing that he defeated four top 20 players on his way to the title including ten-time champion Novak Djokovic.
Speaking about the week Sinner believes his mentality when working under pressure paid off as he is now a Grand Slam champion.
“There is always pressure, but the pressure is something good,” Sinner explained to the ATP website.
“You have to take it in a good way. It’s a privilege, because there are not so many players who have this kind of pressure. In another way, when you have pressure, it means [that people] believe that I can really do it.
“I like to dance in the pressure storm. Personally, I like it, because that’s where most of the time I bring out my best tennis. I’m also quite relaxed on this occasion, because I always try to enjoy on the court. I think pressure is a privilege, to be honest.”
The journey to Grand Slam glory has been a two year developmental process for Sinner as he has overcome expectation and pressure to get to this journey.
The Italian spoke about his journey over the last couple of years and complimented his success to hard work.
“I think what I did not last year, but two years ago, getting to know my body better, getting to know my team better, this was a very important step for me,” Sinner told the ATP website.
“Then last year we tried to have some more results. I started off really well from the indoor tournaments. Indian Wells, Miami, I made [the] semi-final and final. Then also in Monte-Carlo I made a semi-final. Then the semis in Wimbledon.
“So I had very good results, I think, that made me believe that I can compete against the best players in the world. But [here] I still have to process it, because beating Novak [Djokovic] in the semis and then today Daniil in the final, they are tough players to beat. So it’s a great moment for me and my team, but we also know that we have to improve if we want to have another chance to hold a big trophy again.
“This is all the process, and the hard work occasionally will pay off.”
Medvedev determined to remain strong despite defeat
As for Medvedev it was disappointment as his wait for an Australian Open title goes on after a painful defeat.
The world number three is the first player in history to lose two Australian Open finals from two sets up.
In 2022, Medvedev followed up that experience by having a poor season as he was clearly affected by letting the Australian Open title slip through his fingers.
However Medvedev is determined to not let that happen this time around as he explained after the match.
“Different feeling, different circumstances, I would say. Now I’m dreaming more than ever, probably not today, but in general in life,” Medvedev told the ATP website when comparing this loss to the one in 2022.
“But I would say it’s not anymore a kid who is dreaming. It’s me myself right now, a 27-year-old who is dreaming, and who’s doing everything possible for my future and for my present. I love it. That’s why I made it to the final. I wanted to win. I was close. The scoreline is similar but I think the match would be a bit different.
“I managed to raise this level and become a different person with a different mentality. I’m really going to try to make everything possible with myself, with my mind, for this loss to not affect my future tournaments and future seasons, because that’s part of sports.”
It’s been a draining tournament for Medvedev who had to win three five set matches just to get to the final.
After the match Medvedev spoke about how tiring those matches were and how he plans to build on this experience for the rest of the season.
“Five-setters are tough for the body,” Medvedev told the ATP website.
“I would say the worst I felt was after the [Hubert] Hurkacz match, the day after, and after the [Alexander] Zverev match, the day after,” Medvedev said. “Yesterday when I was on practise, I was like, ‘Damn, how I’m going to play the final, how I’m going to move’. We really worked hard with my physio especially, he did a tremendous job so every time when I stepped on court I was ready again.
“During the match, every time it was the same story, after two sets, my energy level dropped, was dropping because I didn’t have a perfect sleep. So let’s call it my fault because I needed to win easier matches, but sometimes it’s tough.
“So it’s not easy for the body, but at least I feel like I have no injuries…I’m ready for the next step this season. Still a strong start.”
We may receive compensation for products purchased via affiliate links on this website
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.