Jannik Sinner is a genuine contender to become Italy's finest male tennis player ever! The 22-year-old has been among the players to beat since last year's Wimbledon, reaching the semi-final in London before conquering Canada, Beijing and Vienna.
Sinner reached the ATP Finals title clash before lifting the Davis Cup trophy for Italy, beating Novak Djokovic at both events. Jannik crowned his form a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne, securing the Australian Open title and becoming a Major champion, the third from his country.
Nicola Pietrangeli was the first of them, and he has lived long enough to witness Sinner's success over 60 years later! Pietrangeli praised Sinner, calling him a player with no weaknesses and with a bright future. However, the 90-year-old highlighted his only record that will remain safe against Jannik's assault, proudly mentioning his mind-blowing 164 Davis Cup matches for Italy.
Sinner will seek the title defense for Italy in Malaga in November, and in the meanwhile, he will try to ride on the Melbourne wave and claim more notable titles this season. The 22-year-old Sinner ascended to tennis glory at Melbourne Park, beating three top-10 rivals and becoming the youngest Australian Open champion since Novak Djokovic in 2008.
Jannik kicked off the first Major of the season as the 4th seed, playing well and beating five rivals in straight sets en route to the semi-final, including Andrey Rublev in the last eight.
Sinner met the defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, battling against the Serb for the fourth time in the previous two months.
The young gun ousted the Melbourne king 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 22 minutes, earning his career-best victory and advancing into his first Major final. Novak stood no chance against such a strong opponent, suffering his first defeat after passing the quarter-final mark in Melbourne!
Djokovic failed to create a break chance for the first time in completed matches at Majors. Also, he sprayed over 50 unforced errors and struggled behind the initial shot, losing serve five times from 11 chances offered to his opponent.
Nicola Pietrangeli mentioned his record Jannik Sinner can not break.
Jannik produced rock-solid numbers on serve and return, taming his strokes nicely and outplaying Novak in the shortest range up to four strokes. Sinner felt confident right from the start, leaving Djokovic far behind in the opening two sets like only a few players before him at Majors.
Jannik grabbed an early break in the opener and secured another before serving out for the set in game seven, clinching it 6-1 in 35 minutes. The Italian lost a couple of points behind the initial shot in the second set. Jannik grabbed a double break, winning the set 6-2 and moving closer to the finish line after 73 minutes!
Novak survived break points at the beginning of the third set and served better after that, failing to do anything on the return but at least staying in touch.
The set went into a tie break, and Sinner created a match point with a service winner.
Djokovic denied it with a forced error and stole the breaker 8-6 to extend his chances. Jannik left that setback behind and started all over, serving well in the fourth set and pressuring Novak. Sinner clinched a decisive break in the fifth game, moving in front and firing a forehand down the line winner on serve at 5-3 to emerge at the top.
Two days later, the young Italian performed an impressive comeback versus world no. 3 Daniil Medvedev, prevailing 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 44 minutes and becoming a Major champion! It was a massive battle, with Jannik clinching one point more than Daniil and with four breaks on each tally.
The more experienced player performed better in the opening two sets, delivering four breaks while losing serve one to build a massive advantage. The Russian reached deuce at 4-4 in the third set before the Italian survived and clinched a break in the next one that launched his comeback.
Daniil had more chances at 3-3 in the fourth set, missing a routine backhand that could have given him three break chances. He still earned one and missed it before experiencing a break at 4-5, allowing Sinner to force a decider after three hours and six minutes.
They served well in the opening five games, and Sinner changed that at 3-2. The Italian secured a decisive break with a forehand winner in game six, building the advantage and closing the next one with a service winner. Medvedev prolonged the battle with a volley winner in game eight before Sinner sealed the deal with a forehand winner at 5-3, celebrating his first Major title at 22.
"Jannik's success spreads beyond sport. Seeing such a young man holding the Australian Open trophy gives a boost of joy. The future looks bright for him. There are no weaknesses in Jannik's game, but there are always things to improve.
However, it will take him two lifetimes to beat my record. He can achieve more than me in almost every area except matching my number of Davis Cup matches. I played 164, and Jannik can not repeat that due to a different structure," Nicola Pietrangeli said.