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Sinner beats Medvedev for first Grand Slam title in Melbourne

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Jannik Sinner ushered in a new era at the Australian Open as the Italian capped off an outstanding fortnight with a superb comeback to outlast Daniil Medvedev and claim his first Grand Slam title on Sunday.
Sinner came from two sets down to beat Medvedev 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 and become the first Melbourne champion for a decade not named Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer in the first title clash since 2005 not to feature any of the “Big Three”.
He dominated the tournament up to the final, with a thumping win over holder Djokovic in the semi-finals, but had to dig deep to take his place as the king and become the first Italian man to bag a major since Adriano Panatta won the 1976 French Open.
“It takes a little while to process everything,” said the 22-year-old after becoming the youngest champion since Djokovic won the 2008 title on Rod Laver Arena.
“I’m extremely happy how I handled things. The situation on court was very, very tough.
“The most important part was the support I had throughout these two weeks. I felt that many people were watching also from home on the TV, so I just tried my best.
“I was a little bit in trouble today with two sets to love down and in a little bit over one hour. So I just tried to stay positive, trying to stick to the game plan, which I had to adjust a little bit.”
Sinner’s star has been on the rise and he primed himself for success on the big stage by beating Djokovic at the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup at the end of last year when he led his country to their second title in the team competition.
A Grand Slam triumph was the next step to keep pace with fellow young gun Carlos Alcaraz, who already has two, and Sinner went about his task in Melbourne efficiently.
But in Medvedev, he faced a man eager to erase the pain of two defeats in the Australian Open final to Djokovic in 2021 and Nadal in five sets in 2022 and the Russian showed no sign of having a mental hangover from those clashes.

MULTIPLE COMEBACKS

Having become the first man since Pete Sampras almost three decades ago to reach the final after multiple comebacks from two sets down, Medvedev made a blazing start to ease through the opening set with a double break.
It was only the third and fourth times that Sinner had dropped his serve in the tournament and he appeared to be troubled by the flat trajectory of his opponent’s shots early in the encounter.
Medvedev’s only previous loss in 51 Grand Slam matches on hardcourts after winning the opening set came at Melbourne Park against Nadal in the 2022 final and the 27-year-old nicknamed the “Octopus” soon got one tentacle on the trophy.
After wasting four chances to break in the second game that had five deuces and lasted nearly 12 minutes, Medvedev got his nose in front 3-1 on his way to wrapping up the second set as Sinner’s hopes of responding faded with the setting sun.
But Sinner grabbed a break back and nearly got another late in the second set as Medvedev showed signs of frailty after more than 20 hours on the court before Sunday but the Russian pushed himself on with plenty of backing from the crowd.
The fourth seed missed a forehand pass at the net after a 31-shot rally in the 10th game of the third set but shrugged it off to break Medvedev and take the set, beginning his comeback in the clash which suddenly had a different feel to it.
“I like to dance in the pressure storm,” Sinner said.
“I like it because that’s where most of the time I bring out my best tennis. I’m also quite relaxed on this occasion, because I always try to enjoy on the court.
“So I think pressure is a privilege, to be honest.”
Sinner saved a breakpoint at 3-3 in a tense fourth set with a big ace and pounced on Medvedev’s serve again late on to level the match at two sets apiece, before a vital break for a 4-2 lead in the decider put him on course for victory.
He celebrated by dropping to his back on the blue court before climbing into the stands to embrace his coaches Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi.
There was heartbreak all over again for former U.S. Open champion Medvedev, who twice came from two sets down to reach the Melbourne Park final only to finish with a fifth defeat in six major title clashes.
After spending a Grand Slam record 24 hours and 17 minutes on court, Medvedev sounded upbeat.
“I’m dreaming more than ever, probably not today but in general in life,” Medvedev said.
“I wanted to win. I was close. Was I really close or not? Tough to say but I wasn’t far.”

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