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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner defeats Daniil Medvedev in fifth set to win epic men’s final

Sinner defeated Medvedev 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in an epic Australian Open final

Jamie Braidwood
Sunday 28 January 2024 14:54 GMT
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Aryna Sabalenka lifts trophy after retaining Australian Open title

Jannik Sinner produced a stunning comeback from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev and win the Australian Open in a thrilling final. The 22-year-old Italian claimed the first grand slam title of his career in epic fashion as Medvedev suffered another heartbreaking Australian Open final defeat - the second time he has lost the final from two sets up following Rafael Nadal’s comeback two years ago.

Sinner, who defeated Novak Djokovic to reach his first grand slam final, was completely outplayed by Medvedev in the first two sets but found momentum as his powerful forehand started to dictate the match. Medvedev had survived three gruelling five-set matches to reach the final, including from two sets down against Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round and Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals, and was physically drained by the decider.

Sinner claimed the crucial break midway through the fifth set and kept his composure to serve for the title. An exhausted Medvedev, who broke the record for the most sets ever played at a grand slam, had nothing left and the former US Open champion becomes the first player to lose two grand slam finals from two sets up.

On Saturday, Aryna Sabalenka claimed back-to-back Australian Open titles with a straight-sets victory over Qinwen Zheng in Melbourne. The World No 2 sealed a dominant tournament defence with a 6-3 6-2 victory against the 12th seed Zheng, who was playing in a grand slam final for the first time.

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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

For two weeks at the Australian Open, Jannik Sinner led from the front as he chased his first grand slam title. Suddenly, in the biggest match of his life, he stood on the brink: two sets down to Daniil Medvedev, the 22-year-old Italian faced the long road back. Step by step, and with calmness beyond his years, he pieced together his destructive forehand to wipe Medvedev off the court, delivering a breakthrough victory under the weight of an expectant nation back home to arrive as a grand slam champion. He becomes the first Italian man to win a grand slam since 1976, and the youngest Australian Open winner since Novak Djokovic in 2008.

That in itself is fitting, given how key Sinner’s two victories over Djokovic at the end of last season have been for the World No 4 to believe that he could finally challenge for a major. He attacked the Australian Open from the start, only dropping one set as he swept through the tournament with the cleanest of hitting. After ending Djokovic’s six-year dominance at Melbourne Park in the semi-finals, Sinner was ready to emulate Carlos Alcaraz and secure another grand slam title for this emerging new generation, yet Medvedev put up the bravest of battles.

Jannik Sinner’s staggering Australian Open comeback heralds the start of a new era

The 22-year-old Italian came from two sets down to win his first grand slam title as Daniil Medvedev suffered more Australian Open final heartbreak

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 14:12
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

Watch every moment of Roland-Garros on Eurosport and discovery+ from 20 May-9 June

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 13:47
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

And here comes Jannik Sinner, the youngest Australian Open champion since Novak Djokovic in 2008!

“First of all, Daniil, I want to congratualte you and your team for an amazing tournament. Every match I find something to improve and you make me a better player. Your hours on court, it’s remarkable to see. I’m sure you can win this title and I hope you the best for the rest of the season.

“I want to thank everyone who makes this event so good. It’s a huge tournament for me and I think to thank everyone for making it special.

“My team, we are trying to get better every day, I’m so glad to have you there supporting me. I’m still a little bit young sometimes but it is what it is - I just want to thank everyone. The support has been crazy, you guys make me feel like home. Thank you so much everyone.”

(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 12:54
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

Jannik Sinner on the “key” to turning the Australian Open final around: “I was expecting something different from his side, so I had this feeling that he might come out a little bit more aggressive. Not this aggressive.

“He played really, really well for the first two sets or two-and-a-half sets. I tried just to play even level, trying to take a couple of chances in the third set, which I’ve done. When you win one very important game, the match can change occasionally, and that was the case today.

“I just tried to stay as long in the court as possible, knowing that he has spent so many hours on the court. The more the match goes on, maybe physically I’m a little bit better today, because he played so many hours.

“I think that today that was the key.”

(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 14:53
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev on his five-set defeat to Jannik Sinner: “I didn’t think much about Rafa match, because I really tried to leave it behind, so I don’t think it had any issues. Otherwise there would be many, many matches during the season where I would lose. And today, again, I didn’t feel like suddenly when I was two sets to love up I stopped playing and let’s say went behind the baseline and started doing like lobs. I didn’t really do bad mistakes. I think what happened is he started to play better, a little bit different tactically, because I propose him something different in the beginning of the match, which was very aggressive.

“I got a little tired physically, but like every other match before, just every other match before, my opponents didn’t manage to take advantage of it or them also, they became tired. Jannik didn’t really, because in the fifth set I was, like every other match, I was trying to be proud of myself, and I am. I was fighting, I was running. I was, like, I will try to, if tomorrow I don’t feel my legs it doesn’t matter, I’m going to try everything I can today until the last point, and I did it.

“And there were some points in the end where he was not -- I mean, adrenaline going, but he didn’t seem as tired as my opponents before. He started playing better. I got a little bit tired. Serve went a little bit worse. So the momentum changed and I really tried in my mind to change it back again, because that’s what tennis is about. But I didn’t manage to do it, and that’s why he’s the winner and has the trophy.”

(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 14:41
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

Jannik Sinner staged a brilliant fightback from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev and win his first grand slam title at the Australian Open.

The 22-year-old Italian handed Novak Djokovic his first loss at Melbourne Park for six years in the semi-finals but looked like he would have to settle for the runners-up plate as Medvedev dominated the first half of the match.

Sinner was not finished, though, and he slowly began to take control with his huge groundstrokes, opening his grand slam account in stunning fashion with a 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory.

By Eleanor Crooks in Melbourne

Jannik Sinner claims first grand slam title as fightback downs Daniil Medvedev

The 22-year-old Italian followed up his victory over Novak Djokovic by claiming the trophy in dramatic fashion.

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 13:23
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

One grand slam champion congratulates another. This rivalry has just gone up another level....

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 12:57
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

Time to hear from Daniil Medvedev:

“First of all I want to congratulate Jannik - you should why you deserved it, you stepped up your level. That is not going to be your last grand slam but I hope I get the next one, I think I’ve lost the last three finals against you, no?

“Thank you to my team. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it today, I just want to thank everyone. It’s been an amazing two weeks, it hurts to lose in the final but it’s better than losing before.

“I’m proud of myself and I’ve going to try harder next time.”

(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 12:51
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

No one has given more to lose in a grand slam final. Record-breaking endurance from Medvedev but he falls just short.

(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 12:44
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Australian Open LIVE: Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev

GAME, SET AND MATCH! Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 Medvedev

THE MOMENT!

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2024 12:41

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