Just a few more hours of waiting. A feverish wait, typical of when you are waiting for your team to play the Champions League final, or for the Italian national team to play the football World Cup final. No, this is not an exaggerated comparison, but the simple acknowledgment that these are hours in which Italian sport, tennis enthusiasts and fans know they are arriving at a truly historic event. Tomorrow in Melbourne, in the legendary Rod Laver Arena, is not a simple tennis match. Here we go beyond tennis, because an entire country awaits its hero to take to the court to win a title never won before. Jannik Sinner against Daniil Medvedev, a match that will be played no earlier than 09:30 Italian time, the final of the Australian Open 2024 between two of the strongest tennis players in the world at the moment. A historic final for many reasons:
After 19 years there is not one of the “fab-four” in the final in Australia
It was 2005, Russian Marat Safin won the title by beating home idol Lleyton Hewitt. From then on until 2023 it is an incredible succession of finals won by one of the members of the magnificent four: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. The Serbian phenomenon actually wins 10 between 2008 and 2023. Then Federer at 5, Nadal at 2 and the Swiss Wawrinka at 1 (in 2014 he won the title by beating Nadal in the final). In 2005, at least three of the world tennis stars of the moment, Alcaraz, Rune and Sinner, were, respectively, 2 years old, 2 years old and 3 years old. An irrefutable sign that Sinner’s achievement of beating Djokovic in the semi-final is something that will remain engraved in the history of tennis regardless of how tomorrow goes and regardless of what the South Tyrolean’s career continues.
Italy hasn’t won a slam title since 1976
It was 1976 when Adriano Panatta won Roland Garros in Paris. Then no other Italian has managed to win a title in these latitudes. Before Panatta, Pietrangeli had achieved it in 1959 and 1960, again on the red clay of Paris. In recent years the only Italian tennis player to reach the final in a Grand Slam tournament was Matteo Berrettini at Wimbledon in 2021 when the Roman tennis player had to surrender to the excessive power of Novak Djokovic.
Sinner is already in the history of Italian tennis
Jannik Sinner is the first Italian in history to reach the final of the Australian Open and the youngest Italian (including women) to reach a slam final in the Open era. At 22 years and 163 days, Sinner is also the youngest Australian Open finalist since Djokovic in 2008.
The “black hole” of the final is not visible in clear light
However, the final will not be visible in clear. Eurosport, the rights holder, therefore retains exclusivity by deciding not to broadcast the long-awaited event for example on channel 9 of digital terrestrial. Strong disappointment for those who are not subscribers. However, the match will also be visible to those who have a subscription on the Discovery Plus, Sky, Eurosport.it, Dazn and Prime Video platforms.