28 January 2024 will forever be an unforgettable date for Jannik Sinner and his fans. The young Italian tennis player won his first Grand Slam tournament, becoming the first Italian tennis player in history to win the Australian Open.
The comeback victory against Daniil Medvedev in five sets allowed the ATP No.4 to become the first Italian tennis player to win an Australian Open title, and the fifth overall (considering men and women) to win a Grand Slam tournament , after the victories of Flavia Pennetta at the US Open and of Francesca Schiavone, Adriano Panatta and Nicola Pietrangeli at the Roland Garros.
But this is not the only record achieved by the Italian with the victory in Melbourne. Sinner became the youngest Australian Open winner since 2008, as well as the first player outside the top 3 of the ATP rankings to win the tournament since 2014, the year Stan Wawrinka defeated Rafael Nadal.
With 11 ATP titles, Jannik surpassed Panatta, becoming the Italian tennis player to have won the most tournaments in the Open Era.
But there is still another incredible fact regarding Jannik's victory.
Sinner has in fact broken the hegemony of the Big 3 at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have in fact dominated the Melbourne Major from 2006 until 2013 first and from the 2015 to 2023, with 10 successes for Nole, 2 for Nadal and 5 (out of the 6 total, the other one is from 2004 - ed.) by Federer.
The last non-Big 3 players to win the Australian Open title before Sinner was Marat Safin in 2005, when he defeated Lleyton Hewitt in four sets and Stan Wawrinka, who in 2014 beat Nadal in four sets.
The 22-year-old opted for the craziest way possible to win his first Major, completing a sensational comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the final, with the score 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6 -3 in three hours and 44 minutes.
Medvedev opted for a more aggressive tactic, changing his position in response and moving closer to the baseline. A choice that paid off in the third game of the first set, when two passers broke Sinner's defenses. The Italian appeared very nervous from the start and paid a high price for some uncertainties.
Medvedev closed by surprising his opponent again in response at 5-3. Sinner tried to remove the tension by saving a very long game at the start of the second set. Game in which he canceled four break points, playing with extreme intelligence.
Medvedev was not at all upset and, a few minutes late, beat Sinner, earning the goal. The breaks became two, because the Russian benefited from the bad volley hit by the Italian down 1-4.
Sinner's reaction caused more than a few problems for Medvedev.
Sinner almost completely closed the gap, but his hopes were extinguished at the end of a tough duel on the diagonal of the forehand. In the third set, everything happened suddenly. After a series of interlocutory games, at 5-4, Medvedev hesitated with his forehand and Sinner took advantage of it like an expert predator, biting his prey on the precious set point.
Just when the inertia seemed to be changing, in the 4th set, Medvedev gave his all and eliminated a chance in both the second and fourth games, scoring at the net and shooting an extraordinary backhand down the line. At 3-3, Sinner had the burden of shaking on serve, but the Italian hit a vital ace.
Decisive step forward to grab the fifth set at the last minute. In a situation of extreme pressure for both, Sinner took care of smashing the ball with his forehand, on set point. The weight of long matches affected Medvedev's brilliance, but Sinner still raised the level.
At 3-2 in the 5th set, it was again the forehand that allowed him to gain ground and land the knockout blow on the Russian. The Italian authoritatively guarded the end of the dispute and brought the curtain down on a memorable day for Sinner.
"To all the people who are following me from home: I would like everyone to have parents like mine, they have always let me choose in life. I wish all the children to have the freedom that I had. A very important tournament for me, I would like to thank everyone who made this Slam special.
Thanks to my team, to all the people who are in my corner and who follow me from home. You encourage me and manage to understand me: sometimes it's not easy but that's how I am. support has been exceptional these two weeks, you made me feel at home. Thank you so much," said Jannik at the on-court interview.