Novak Djokovic - Key factor in Jannik Sinner's Major success

Jannik Sinner claimed his first Major trophy at the Australian Open

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic - Key factor in Jannik Sinner's Major success
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner clinched his first Major title at the Australian Open, earning tennis glory at 22. Jannik dethroned Novak Djokovic and faced the ultimate challenge in the title clash against Daniil Medvedev, overcoming a massive deficit and prevailing 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 44 minutes.

Thus, the young Italian mastered the first notable event of the season, getting himself in an excellent position to chase the ATP throne for the rest of the season. Patrick Mouratoglou highlighted Jannik's three wins over Novak within two months, calling it the key to his confidence and consistency.

Jannik had a great run in the second part of 2023, reaching the Wimbledon semi-final and claiming a Masters 1000 crown in Canada.

Jannik, Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Sinner lost two matches after the US Open, conquering Beijing, Vienna and the Davis Cup for Italy.

Jannik scored two notable wins over Novak, prevailing in the ATP Finals round-robin stage and delivering a surprise in the Davis Cup semi-final, ousting world no. 1 after defending three match points. Sinner finished the season in the top-4 and gathered a boost ahead of 2024, eagerly waiting to show his full potential.

Jannik made a convincing start in Melbourne, scoring one straight-sets win after another and beating Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev en route to the semi-final. Sinner arranged his fourth clash against Djokovic and produced a masterclass in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 victory in three hours and 22 minutes.

Jannik tamed his strokes beautifully, never facing a break point and stealing Novak's serve five times from 11 opportunities. The Italian took charge in the shortest range up to four shots, taming his strokes nicely and outplaying a ten-time winner.

Djokovic failed to create a break chance for the first time in completed matches at Majors, losing the opening two sets in no time and falling in the fourth despite fighting hard in the third. Sinner passed the ultimate challenge, but more was required to win a maiden Major trophy.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Jannik Sinner came from two sets to love down in the Australian Open final.

The young gun showed a champion's mentality in the final against Daniil Medvedev, battling back from two sets to love down and lifting the trophy.

Jannik won one point more than Daniil, with four breaks on each side in a toe-to-toe struggle. Sinner hit more winners and fewer unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely from the third set and overcoming a couple of challenging moments en route to a massive comeback.

Daniil was off to a better start in his sixth final, serving at 86% in the opener and dropping four points in his games. Jannik could not follow that pace after landing in 54% of the first serve, struggling behind the second serve and getting broken two times.

Medvedev passed Sinner at the net in the third game of the encounter, earning a break at 15 and gaining confidence. The Russian fired an ace in the eighth game, moving 5-3 in front and pushing strong on the return in the next one.

Sinner sprayed a backhand error, losing serve for the second time and handing the opener to Medvedev after 36 minutes. Daniil served at 50% in the second set, losing serve once after already building the advantage and delivering a pair of return games that kept him safe.

Jannik saved four break points in the second game and felt the pressure again at 1-2. The Italian missed a game point and got broken after the Russian's volley winner at the net. Medvedev cemented the lead with a rock-solid net coverage in game five and clinched another break in the next one after Sinner's loose volley, opening a massive advantage after 71 minutes.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Daniil served for the set in game seven and suffered a break after a forehand error, providing Jannik with at least some momentum.

The Italian forced the Russian's mistake in the ninth game and earned a break point. Medvedev denied it and held with a forced error, forging two sets to love advantage after an hour and 25 minutes. Jannik dropped six points behind the initial shot in the third set and grabbed a late break to launch his comeback.

They reached deuce on Jannik's serve in game nine, with Daniil standing six points away from the title. However, the young gun stayed focused and held with a forehand winner for 5-4. Medvedev missed a game point in game ten and suffered a break after a forehand error, allowing Sinner to secure the set 6-4 and prolong the battle.

Jannik pushed strong on the return early in the fourth set, missing his chances in games two and four and keeping his rival at 2-2. In one of the pivotal moments of the entire final, Daniil placed a backhand wide at 30-0 on the return in game seven, missing a chance to create three break chances.

He had one, though, and Jannik erased it with an ace down the T line before holding for 4-3. Sinner fired a forehand down the line winner in the ninth game, moving 5-4 up and keeping the pressure on the other side. The Italian extended the tenth game with a forehand drive-volley winner and earned a set point after the Russian's loose backhand.

Jannik converted it with a powerful forehand, taking the set 6-4 and forcing a decider after three hours and six minutes.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Medvedev landed an ace in the fourth game for 2-2, and Sinner responded with a forehand down the line winner in the next one.

Daniil missed a volley at the net in the sixth game and faced three break points. Jannik seized the second with a forehand crosscourt winner, opening a 4-2 gap and moving closer to the finish line. A service winner in game seven pushed the Italian 5-2 up, and he served for the title at 5-3 after the Russian's hold at 15.

Sinner served for a Major title in game nine and forced Medvedev's mistake for a match point. He seized it with a forehand down the line winner, sealing the deal in style and writing history. "Jannik delivered in his first Major final, keeping his level high.

He could have choked, but he did not. Jannik built confidence in the closing stages of 2023, winning titles and beating Novak two times. He maintained a high level at the Australian Open and delivered consistent tennis, leading him toward a Major.

The only question was whether he could produce that level against Novak in the semi-final, and he responded in the finest way," Patrick Mouratoglou said.

Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner Australian Open