Jannik Sinner triumphs at the Australian Open (first Grand Slam tournament) in Melbourne. Historic victory for the Italian tennis player who beat the Russian Daniil Medvedev at the end of a sensational comeback to win the fifth set: 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
Italy waited almost half a century to celebrate the triumph of an Italian in a grand slam tournament and Jannik Sinner finally arrived.
At 22 years old, the South Tyrolean succeeded where only Nicola Pietrangeli and Adriano Panatta had previously achieved, both in Paris and the last time in 1976, hoisting the tricolor for the first time in history on the first major of the season. Given as favorite in the final with the Russian Daniil Medvedev, given the almost clear path in the tournament which culminated with the victory in the semi-final over Novak Djokovic, Sinner seemed to have lost the magical touch and the inner strength that he had built up until now.
Finishing 2-0 down, he turned the lights back on in the third set, starting a comeback which he completed after three hours and 45 minutes of play, prevailing 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. «A special victory, an incredible tournament, two fantastic weeks», the first words of the Italian, who moved by wishing «all the children to live this dream and to have the freedom that my parents gave me». His father Hanspeter and mother Siglinde were not on the sidelines at the Rod Laver Arena to follow the match, ‘forced to watch TV like millions of Italians, but much of the support was for the Italian, who conquered everyone and not just for his quality of the game, which has improved in recent months thanks to important victories such as those over Djokovic at the ATP Finals and in the Davis Cup. The match had two moments and a turning point, but it was going badly for the Italian, with Medvedev staying closer to the court than usual in response. The world number 3 set up the match with the aim of increasing the pace and putting pressure from behind right from the first shots to neutralize Sinner’s changes along the line, whose serve did not work as usual while that of the Russian was almost implacable. The break came inevitable at the end and the set ended 6-3.
Same script in the second game, with Sinner still in defense and giving up the serve again early, losing again 6-3 after having also been down 5-1. The ending seemed announced, but the moment of turning point has arrived. With Jannik’s serve and tennis in general starting to improve, while the Russian’s pace dropped, the Italian took the decisive break in the tenth game. At that point it was Sinner who got closer to the court, putting more weight into his dribbles and great precision and variety in his shots, earning the 2-1 with a placid 6-4. Medvedev also found himself on the defensive, while Sinner increasingly closed the point by then clenching his fist in his gesture of measured celebration. The break came inevitable and so did the second 6-4 which rebalanced the match, but it was clear to everyone how it would end. In fact, the fifth set was lived in the expectation of a knockout blow, which arrived already in the fifth game with the break, then doubled shortly after for the final 6-3. Sinner dropped to the ground, and then jumped onto the banister and climbed among the staff, the team.
His first thanks were to Vagnozzi and Cahill, the two coaches who also guided and accompanied him during the final, especially in the difficult moments of the first two sets: “We try to improve day after day by trying to become stronger. I’m really happy to have you with me to encourage me and understand me because sometimes it’s not easy, but that’s how I am.” Other words that can explain why the boy from Pusteria started to conquer the world to ascend the throne of tennis. He is “a champion inside and out”, his friend Matteo Berrettini writes about him, while his rivals, from Medvedev himself to Djokovic, from Nadal to Alcaraz, compliment him. Jannik Sinner writes a page of history that makes us proud. For the first time, Italy conquers the Australian slam. A memorable feat worthy of a true champion”, writes the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, on social media, where they then arrived the congratulations of the leaders of sport, such as Minister Abodi, the n.1 of Coni Malagò and Fitp Binaghi, and of many politicians and athletes.
There will be meetings, handshakes, prizes and recognition but many others are on the horizon, because the Sinner of Melbourne promises to be able to repeat itself soon and bring Italian tennis to a new dimension.
Sinner: “This is a special tournament. Thanks to my team, thanks to my parents, thanks to this extraordinary audience”
“First of all Daniil I congratulate you and your team for the exceptional tournament you played. Your effort in this tournament was exceptional, run on all balls and I wish you to win this tournament sooner or later. I thank everyone: the sponsors, the ball boys, the chair judges, everyone who makes this tournament fantastic. It’s a very important tournament for me and I wanted to thank everyone who made this slam so special. Thanks to my team, everyone: let’s try to improve day after day, we try to understand each situation in the best way and I’m happy to have you there, because you encourage me. Sometimes it’s not easy, but that’s how I am. In these two weeks here you have made me feel at home, it’s a playground 15 thousand people, but you seem like many more. I thank my family and I wish everyone could have the parents I have: they have always allowed me to do what I wanted and I wish all the children to have the freedom that my parents gave me My parents. I don’t know what to say anymore, see you next year.”