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Jannik Sinner completes outrageous comeback to win Australian Open

Sinner completes outrageous comeback to win Australian Open
© Reuters
Italian trailblazer Jannik Sinner wins his first Grand Slam title with an astonishing five-set comeback over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open.

Italian trailblazer Jannik Sinner clinched his maiden Grand Slam title with a mesmerising comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open.

The first-time major finalist was on the cusp of falling to Medvedev's hard-court superiority, only to produce a scarcely-believable fightback to prevail 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in three hours and 44 minutes.

Sinner's inspiring triumph made the fourth seed only the third Italian man to win a Grand Slam title after Adriano Panatta and Nicola Pietrangeli, and the first from his nation to win the Melbourne crown.

The third-youngest man to win the Australian Open title after Novak Djokovic and Jim Courier, Sinner's inaugural Grand Slam triumph is the culmination of an exceptional fortnight for the 22-year-old, who reached the championship match with just one set dropped in his opening five matches.

Only 10-time winner Djokovic managed to take a set off of the Italian en route to Sunday's showpiece at the Rod Laver Arena, while Medvedev had been taken to five sets in gruelling battles with Emil Ruusuvuori, Hubert Hurkacz and Alexander Zverev, but the Russian's Grand Slam nous heavily outweighed that of his youthful foe.

Medvedev had already competed in five Grand Slam finals prior to the curtain-raising 2024 event - all of which had come on hard courts - and the third seed's experience told in the opening exchanges, where early nerves got the better of Sinner.

Daniil Medvedev gives a speech during the trophy ceremony after losing the final against Italy's Jannik Sinner on January 28, 2024© Reuters

The Italian was broken in just his second service game and did not fashion a single chance to break back against Medvedev, who was proving unbeatable at the net as he strolled into a 1-0 lead.

Throughout the opening two sets, Medvedev lost just five points behind his first serve and stormed into a 5-1 advantage in the second; Sinner earned one break back to keep the set alive but had only delayed the inevitable.

However, the momentum shifted at the end of a tense third, as Sinner crucially broke Medvedev while he was serving to stay in the set before coming up clutch in identical circumstances in the fourth set, where he blasted 15 winners past Medvedev and enjoyed more success behind his first serves.

Owing to a backhand winner and two unforced errors from Medvedev, Sinner would put himself on the brink of glory with a break for a 4-2 lead in the decider, and after forcing Medvedev into an error to bring up his first championship point, the fourth seed blasted an unstoppable forehand winner down the line before collapsing in euphoria.

"Hello everyone, first of all Daniil I just want to congrats you and your team for an amazing tournament. I know we've played so many finals together, you make me a much better player. Your effort has been awesome throughout the all tournament," Sinner said on the court with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup in hand.

"Everyone who is in my box and watching from home, we are trying to get better every day, even during the tournament we try to get stronger, try to understand every situation a little bit better."

Amid the exultation for Sinner, Medvedev has now been beaten in each of his three Australian Open finals and is the first male player in the Open Era to lose two Grand Slam finals from two sets up, suffering defeat to Rafael Nadal in similar circumstances in 2022.

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Jannik Sinner reacts at the Australian Open on January 23, 2024
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