By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Congratulazioni, Jannik Sinner!
After three hours and 44 minutes of tennis marathon in Melbourne, Jannik Sinner of Italy rose to the occasion and clinched his first-ever Grand Slam title after pulling off a come-from-behind win over Daniil Medvedev- 3.6, 3.6, 6.4, 6.4, 6.3- in the Australian Open grand finals last January 28, 2024.
Sinner was down two sets to none against Medvedev in the first hour and a half of the highly-anticipated championship match and was hounded by several unforced errors during the baseline exchanges.
Also, Medvedev’s forehand read was on-point in the first two sets, setting up several traps to Sinner where he would receive in the no man’s land only to be killed by a cross-court laser-sharp forehand.
Sinner needed two full sets to completely figure out Medvedev’s strategy and game plan. At the start of the third, the 22-year-old Italian stayed patient in the baseline while locating the tendencies he needed to improve on.
After scoring his first break-point of the game, all hell broke loose for Sinner as he finally picked up his hitting rhythm and started attacking the net that disoriented Medvedev.
A key that helped Sinner nab the comeback win was his consistency in the long rally exchanges. The match fully turned his way when he outdueled Medvedev in a 39-shot baseline rally that put the crowd on their feet after the Italian dealt the final point with a huge forehand in the right corner.
In the fourth set, Medvedev tried to stick with his original game plan of making Sinner work in the baseline but unfortunately, the fiery Italian couldn’t be stopped and just began to pile up a series of jaw-dropping points.
It was all Sinner in the fifth as he quickly broke Medvedev’s service possession while holding his own in the following sequence to build a two-game set lead.
Everyone at the Rod Laver Arena then gave Sinner a standing ovation when he completed the comeback victory off a forehand bomb winner.
With the victory, Sinner became the third Italian to win the Australian Open Grand Slam championship after Nicola Pietrangeli and Adriano Panatta.