Rafa's Recognition: Nadal Applauds Jannik Sinner on Remarkable Comeback

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

by Jovica Ilic
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Rafa's Recognition: Nadal Applauds Jannik Sinner on Remarkable Comeback
© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal extended his heartfelt congratulations to Jannik Sinner on securing his inaugural Major title, recognizing the significance of the Italian's triumph in Melbourne. This recognition carries a special weight for Nadal, who faced a similar scenario two years ago.

In the 2021 Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev, Nadal orchestrated a stunning comeback from two sets down. The Spaniard overcame a daunting 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 deficit to ultimately clinch victory after nearly five and a half hours of intense battle.

Drawing parallels to his resilient performance, Sinner found himself trailing by two sets in Sunday's final against Medvedev.

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

Undeterred, the young Italian maintained focus, orchestrating a remarkable turnaround to claim a 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 triumph in three hours and 45 minutes.

This impressive victory not only secured Sinner's first Major title at the age of 22 but also mirrored Nadal's capacity for determination and grit displayed a couple of years ago. Sinner's journey to the title match was marked by a series of commanding straight-sets wins, and his semi-final victory over the formidable Novak Djokovic showcased his mettle on the grand stage.

However, Medvedev made a better start in the title clash, winning the opening two sets and moving closer to his maiden Melbourne Park title. Sinner's ability to stay composed and mount a comeback highlighted his resilience from the third set, echoing the spirit of champions like Nadal who have demonstrated the same tenacity in the face of adversity.

Jannik clinched one point more than Daniil, earning the win behind the second serve after doing everything right in his games from the third set. Both players scored four breaks, and the Italian clinched his return games in the pivotal moments.

Sinner faced one break point in 15 service games after the second set, and Medvedev could not endure the pressure and reach tie breaks.

Rafael Nadal applauded Jannik Sinner's first Major title.

Seeking his second Major title in the sixth final, the Russian served at 86% in the opener and had the upper hand.

He lost four points in his games and built confidence with an early break. Medvedev broke Sinner in the third game and served well for a 5-3 advantage after an ace in game eight. Sinner played another loose service game while serving to stay in the set, facing three set points and hitting a wayward backhand on the third to drop the opener 6-3.

Daniil pushed strong on the return in the second set, building a massive advantage with a double break and moving closer to the finish line. Jannik struggled in the second game, saving four break points and holding with a forehand drive-volley winner.

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

The Russian produced three holds at love and waited for more return chances. Daniil landed a volley winner in the fourth game, securing a break and cementing it with another volley winner in the next one for 4-1.

Medvedev secured another break in game six, extending his streak and serving for the set at 5-1. Sinner pulled one break back in game seven, earning confidence ahead of the rest of the duel and creating a break point at 3-5.

Daniil denied it and held for a 6-3, 6-3 advantage after an hour and 25 minutes, moving closer to his second Major crown. Sinner raised his level in the third set, facing no issues in five service games and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Medvedev followed that pace and reached deuce on the return at 4-4, moving six points away from the title. The Russian missed a forehand, and the Italian closed the game with a forehand down the line winner. Medvedev missed a game point in game ten and got broken after a forehand error, handing the set to Sinner 6-4.

Jannik drew the most from serving at 46% in the fourth set. He denied a crucial break point in the seventh game and clinched another late break to force a decider. That seventh game could have been crucial for Daniil, spraying a backhand error at 30-0 and missing a chance to create three break chances.

He earned one, and Jannik erased it with an ace. The Italian moved 5-4 up with a forehand winner and secured a break in game ten with a forced error, clinching 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

They served well in the first five games, and Sinner moved 3-2 in front with a forehand down the line winner. Jannik earned three break points in the sixth game and grabbed the second with a forehand crosscourt winner that pushed him 4-2 ahead.

The young gun cemented the advantage with a service winner in game seven, standing one game away from the title. Medvedev served to stay in contention in game eight and held at 15, reducing the gap to 5-3. Jannik served for the title in game nine and showed no signs of fear, earning a match point with a forced error. Sinner converted it with a forehand winner, sealing the deal and completing an incredible comeback.

Jannik Sinner Australian Open
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