Jannik Sinner to die for. Feverish anticipation for the final with Medvedev: but will it be possible to see it clearly?


By John

The business was needed, and it was a business. Jannik Sinner writes another page of Italian tennis, winning his first Slam final and becoming the first Italian to reach the Australian Open: will challenge the Russian Medvedev Sunday morning, for a feat that would be truly historic. Fourth in the world ranking, but with the primacy now increasingly in his sights (from Melbourne he can even jump to third place), Jannik faced last night the champion of champions, that Novak Djokovic who had never before on the hard court of the Rod Laver Arena failed. Ten finals reached and as many won: in fact he had not lost in the Down Under tournament for six years (33 consecutive victories, the last knockout on 22 January 2018 when the Serbian was defeated by the Korean Chung in the round of 16).

The South Tyrolean boy was needed to interrupt the streak of the Serbian, to whom a Sinner in monumental format leaves only one set: it ends 3-1 for the blue after 3 hours and 22 minutes of play, a match that could have lasted two as it turns out was off to a flying start, with Jannik off to a flying start and the first two finishing 6-1 6-2. Then the third surrendered in the tie break 6-7, with a match point canceled out which caused a matchpoint to be canceled out by the annihilated Djokovic. Sinner doesn’t waver, this time he also keeps his distance, and in the fourth, without even granting his opponent a break, he puts down the ball to make it 6-3 and eliminates number 1. And on Sunday he will face the Russian Daniil Medvedev who came back to beat the German Alexander Zverev in the 5th set (after being 2-0 down). Medvedev admitted that he felt “a little lost and in the third set I said to myself ‘I at least want to be proud of myself if I lose, to fight on every point”. Medvedev, in the final in Melbourne for the third time, will try to win a second Grand Slam title after the 2021 US Open. «Good morning Italy – smiles the champion, now celebrated by all among the strongest tennis players around – They say that this is the tournament of happiness, well I’m happy with this result and now I’ll play the final with a smile.” “It was a very tough match, but the Wimbledon defeat taught me how to beat Djokovic. Here I started very well in the first two sets – he added -, Nole made a lot of mistakes. I missed a match point in the third set, but I wanted to be ready for the next set. I started off great and I couldn’t wait to play this match. Now I’m more calm and on Sunday I will play the final with a smile.” Djokovic could only compliment his opponent: “Deserved final, he did everything better, he dominated me – admits Nole – it shocked me, I think I played the worst match in a slam”. The first appointment with history is at dawn in Italy and Sinner doesn’t fail: the unprecedented Slam final it is a goal that this time he wants to bring home, despite Djokovic who is the absolute king of Melbourne. The match for Sinner starts downhill, even too much considering the rival: in the first set, with the Serbian late with his legs, the Azzurro wins two set points and closes 6-1 in 35’. Djokovic loses the first set in the eleven semi-finals played on Australian hard courts. Sinner also dominates the second with two breaks and zero break points granted to his opponent. Djokovic fails to do Djokovic, with 29 errors in two sets in which he won only 3 games. In the third set the challenge reopens thanks to Djokovic less fouls and Sinner returning to earth, after the Martian start: we reach the tie break, the Serbian clings to the match, saves the blue’s match ball at 6-5 and goes on to close 8-6. He goes to the fourth, amidst the applause of Melbourne Park, happy to be able to enjoy the show again. The blue proves to be stronger, going from 40-0 to break. It ends 6-1 6-2 6-7 6-3 and it is the first Slam final for Sinner. Between the blue and the coveted trophy there is the rock Medvedev, who in the magical final of the season defeated Jannik three times, dispelling the Russian taboo, among the victories the one which earned him qualification for the ATP final in Turin. In Australia it is already history.

The Australian Open final free to air?

Italy dreams of seeing its champion in the clear. The final will be played at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne starting at 09:30: in these hours there is a lot of talk about the possibility of being able to make the match visible to everyone by broadcasting it on free-to-air TV. Discovery, holder of the TV rights to the Australian tournament, is thinking of being able to broadcast it not only on Eurosport and on the streaming platforms that have bought the rights, but also on its own channel 9. At the moment it is only a hypothesis, but as has happened on other occasions in the past it could be a possibility not to be discarded. This would be an initiative to which Discovery is not obliged, given that the case does not fall within the “list of events of particular importance for the company whose broadcast on free-to-air programming is ensured”, contained in an AGCOM resolution. As regards tennis, in fact, the document mentions “the final and semi-finals of the Davis Cup in which the Italian national team participates and of the Italian tennis internationals in which Italian athletes participate”. A case in which the Australian Open final therefore does not fall, despite the presence of an Italian tennis player, and yet there is an identical fairly recent precedent, when in 2021 Sky decided to broadcast the match free-to-air on TV8 (the same broadcaster’s channel). Wimbledon final between Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic.

Bertolucci’s hope

«The Australian Open final should be broadcast on free, it’s one of those events that everyone should see. What if Discovery broadcast it on channel 9? It would be wonderful.” The former tennis player and TV commentator Paolo Bertolucci said this on Rai Radio1, guest of “Un giorno da pecora”.