Jannik Sinner fights back from two sets down to win Australian Open final

Daniil Medvedev raced into a two-set lead but could not stop Sinner from winning the next three sets to take the crown

As Jannik Sinner trailed by two sets in his first grand slam final, his hopes of attaining the ultimate dream were fading quickly. He looked completely lost. Between points he shared long, searching looks with his team. At one point, he even told them that he was “dead”. Sinner’s inexperience sharply contrasted with the nous of Daniil Medvedev, who seemed to know exactly what to do.

But Sinner dug far deeper than ever before, and somehow he ­gradually managed to turn his fortunes around.

From the grim prospect of likely defeat, the 22-year-old fourth seed pulled off the greatest comeback of his life to topple Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 and win his first grand slam title.

“It takes a little while to ­process everything,” Sinner said. “I’m extremely happy how I handled things today. The situation on court was very, very tough. I think the most important part was the support I had throughout these two weeks. I felt that many, many people were ­watching also from home, 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.”


With his immense victory, Sinner is just the third Italian man to win a grand slam title and the first since Adriano ­Panatta in 1976. At 22 years and 165 days, he is also the youngest man to win the Australian Open since Novak Djokovic in 2008 and the ­second man born in the 2000s to win a grand slam title after Carlos Alcaraz. It is a reflection of the dominance of the Big Three, and how they have snuffed out the dreams of an entire generation, that there are also only two men born in the 1990s with a grand slam title.

Medvedev is one of those two ­players, but his attempts to win a ­second title have proved an ­excruciating pursuit. This time an incredible tournament ended in catastrophe. After recovering from numerous deficits of his own and pushing himself to the limit, he just could not close it out.

Having led Rafael Nadal by two sets in the very same stadium in the 2022 final, Medvedev is now the first player to lose two major finals from two sets up. He falls to 1-5 in grand slam finals. As usual, the Russian remained thoughtful and upbeat despite the crushing defeat.

“It’s very, very tough when you have a mentality, I don’t want to say ­champion, but a good mentality, a sport mentality, it’s very tough to lose in the final,” he said. “It kind of hurts more maybe than to lose in semis or quarters. But you have to try to find positives, and the positive is, well, the final is better than the semi‑final and ­quarters. That’s the only thing I can say.”

Few finals have been preceded by such starkly contrasting paths. No player has played more sets (31) or spent more time on the court in the history of grand slam tennis than Medvedev, who finished with 24hr 17min on the clock with four five-setters, two ­recoveries from two sets down and multiple matches in searing heat. Sinner, meanwhile, had destroyed all challengers, dropping only a set before the final, and that against Djokovic, the defending champion.

But there is nothing like the nerves of a first grand slam final, where form flies out the window. Right from the beginning Medvedev made his experience count. He started the match incredibly well, crushing the ball off both wings, serving brilliantly and forcing himself inside the baseline. As Sinner struggled to keep up, ­Medvedev established a 6-3, 5-1 lead.

It was not until then, the match moving so quickly, that Sinner finally relaxed. As he began to strike the ball with more freedom, 1-5 became 3-5, with two break points to force ­Medvedev back on serve. Although Medvedev closed out the set, it was a start. Sinner finally found his rhythm on his first serve, easing through his service games early in the third set and keeping himself ­narrowly ahead. “I just tried to stay as long in the court as possible, knowing that he has spent so many hours on the court,” he said afterwards.

At 5-4 in the third set, with the pressure on his opponent’s ­shoulders, Sinner stepped up. As Medvedev’s first serve wavered and unforced errors began, the Italian finally began to strike the ball freely. He took control of the baseline and forced a fourth set.

Suddenly the match had taken on a completely new complexion. The more ­Sinner’s confidence rose, the more he began to step inside the baseline and unload on his groundstrokes. Medvedev fought an uphill battle throughout the fourth set and once again he could not hold on under intense pressure. At 5-4, Sinner returned brilliantly ­throughout the game before ­crushing one last forehand to force a decisive set.

By the final set Medvedev looked exhausted, all that time on the court across the tournament finally catching up, while Sinner looked like he was only just getting started. The decisive break came fast as Sinner cracked a thunderous winning forehand to break for 4-2 and then he held until the end, ­continuing his march into the history books.