Sinner rallies to win Australian Open final against Medvedev and wins 1st major


Jannik Sinner lined up a forehand, drilled it down the line and fell to the court on his back, giving himself a few moments to process how he had come back from two sets down to win his first Grand Slam title.

Sinner, 22, found a way to turn defense into attack in his first major final and won the Australian Open title over Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6 -4, 6-3 Sunday. in Melbourne.

It was his third straight win over a top-5 player, including his quarterfinal win over No. 5 Andrey Rublev and his semifinal upset that ended the No. 1’s long dominance Novak Djokovic on the tournament. Only Djokovic and Roger Federer have done this in a major tournament played on hard court.

Sinner is the first Italian to win the Australian Open and the youngest winner of a men’s final here since Djokovic won his first Grand Slam title in 2008.

With Carlos Alcaraz winning Wimbledon and Sinner winning the season-opening major, a generational change is occurring.

“It’s been quite a journey,” said Sinner, 22, “even though I’m only 22.”

“It’s obviously a huge tournament for me. But I want to thank everyone for making this Slam so special.”

For Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, it was his fifth defeat in six major finals. Third-seeded Medvedev set a record with his fourth five-set match of the tournament and his time on court at a major tournament in the Open era, his 24 hours and 17 minutes topping 23:40 by Carlos Alcaraz at the 2022 US Open.

He is also the first in the Open era to lose two Grand Slam finals in five sets after taking a 2-0 lead.

Medvedev has lost two consecutive Australian Open finals – to Djokovic in 2021 and to Rafael Nadal after holding a two-set lead the following year.

He won three matches in five sets to reach the championship match this year – his sixth Grand Slam final.

Sinner only lost one set in six rounds – in a third-set tiebreaker against Djokovic – until he lost two in a row to Medvedev.

It was only during the break of the sixth game of the fifth set that he truly took possession of his first Grand Slam title.

Medvedev started out as a man who wanted to win quickly, after all his time on the court.

In two of Medvedev’s five matches — a second-round win over Emil Ruusuvuori that ended around 4 a.m. and a 4-hour, 18-minute semifinal win over No. 6 Alexander Zverev — he had to come back two sets less. No one has done this en route to an Australian Open final since Pete Sampras in 1995.

The 27-year-old Russian spent 20 hours and 33 minutes on the ground over six rounds. That was nearly six hours more than Sinner needed to reach the final.

Sinner failed to give Djokovic a glimpse of a breakpoint as he ended the ten-time Australian Open champion’s 33-match unbeaten streak at Melbourne Park dating back to 2018.

Against Medvedev, however, he was in trouble from the start. Medvedev broke in the third game and won the first set in 36 minutes.

He had two more breaks of serve in the fourth and sixth games of the second set, but was broken himself at 5-1 while trying to serve it. He succeeded on his next try.

The third set went with serve until the 10th game, when Medvedev was one point back level at 5-5 until three forehand errors gave Sinner the set and momentum.

He won the fourth set, again with a break of serve in the 10th game, recovering immediately to win three points after missing a forehand so far that it shocked the Rod Laver Arena crowd.

The tournament thus equaled a Grand Slam Open era record set at the 1983 US Open with a 35th match in five sets.

In the sixth game of the fifth set, Sinner scored a triple break point against a tired Medvedev. He missed his first chance but converted with his next, a forehand winner, for a 4-2 lead. From then on, he didn’t give Medvedev a chance.

Medvedev had faced Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in his previous five major finals. He beat Djokovic to win the 2021 US Open title, but lost all others, including the 2021 final in Australia to Djokovic and the 2022 final – after winning the first two sets – to Nadal.

He changed his usual style, going to the net more regularly in the first two sets and standing closer to the baseline to receive the serve than he has recently.

Medvedev said throughout the tournament that he had more endurance than before and was mentally stronger in the tough five-setters. He certainly showed incredible endurance, but he failed – again.

Medvedev won his first six matches against Sinner, but has now lost four in a row, including three finals.

“I want to congratulate Janick because today you once again showed why you deserve it,” Medvedev said. “So winning a lot of matches and it’s probably not your last Grand Slam, but hopefully I can try to get the next one if you play in the final because that’s, what, three finals in a row!”

Medvedev also sent a message to his family during his on-field interview:

“Unfortunately I couldn’t make it today, but I’ll try to make it, I’ll work for you next time,” he said. “It always hurts to lose in the final, but it’s probably better to be in the final than to lose before.

“So I guess yeah, I’ll have to try harder next time, but I’m proud of myself.”

Hseih Su-wei and Elise Mertens win women’s doubles title

Hseih Su-wei of Taiwan became the second-oldest woman to win a Grand Slam doubles title after teaming up with Elise Mertens of Belgium on Sunday to win the Australian Open women’s doubles in Melbourne.

Second-seeded duo Hseih and Mertens beat 11th-seeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko and Ukrainian Lyudmyla Kichenok 6-1, 7-5 in Sunday’s final. It was Hseih’s seventh Grand Slam women’s doubles title and Mertens’ fourth, their second together.

Hsieh, 38, follows India’s Rohan Bopanna who became the oldest men’s champion, at 43, when he won the men’s doubles title on Saturday with Australian Matthew Ebden.

American Lisa Raymond was eight days older than Hseih when she won the women’s doubles at the 2011 US Open. Martina Navratilova was 49 when she won the mixed doubles at the 2006 US Open with Bob Bryan.

Hseih has the advantage of being coached by Australian Paul McNamee, who won six Grand Slam doubles titles, including two at the Australian Open, and who served as general manager of the Australian Open until 2006. She had already won the mixed doubles during the current tournament with the Pole Jan Zielinski. .

Mertens won the Wimbledon title with Hseih in 2021 and won the Australian Open title the same year with Aryna Sabalenka, who won her second consecutive singles title in Melbourne on Saturday. She also won the US Open women’s doubles in 2019.

Mertens will return to No. 1 in the WTA doubles rankings on Monday, a position she first held in May 2021. She spent 28 weeks at No. 1 in the rankings.

Hseih and Mertens needed just one hour and 33 minutes on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday to add to their already impressive Grand Slam resumes. They won the first set in just over half an hour. The second set was much closer since Mertens lost his serve in the first game. She recovered to serve for the championship at 5-3 but was broken again.

Ultimately, Hseih and Mertens won the match by defeating Kichenok in the 12th game. Mertens jumped into the air with joy; Hseih was more reserved.

Two women embrace a large silver trophy.
Su-Wei Hsieh, right, of Taiwan and Elise Mertens of Belgium pose with the championship trophy after winning their women’s doubles final match against Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia during the Australian Open 2024 in Melbourne. (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

They are a formidable combination, Mertens with the strongest serve, Hseih with deft touches around the net and flat, powerful groundstrokes.

“It was a tough final,” Mertens said. “The second set was very close.

“It was a very good match for us and we had to stay focused the whole time.”

Ostapenko and Kichenok had a tough road to the final, beating US Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals.

They lacked communication and teamwork in the first set, but worked better together in the second in which Ostapenko’s serve was reliable. Kichenok lost his serve in the fourth, eighth and final games.

Kichenok ended his comments at the presentation ceremony with the words “Slava Ukraini, Glory to Ukraine.”

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