Jannik Sinner Makes Italian Tennis History (Again) With Australian Open Win

| Mon, 01/29/2024 - 06:00
Jannik Sinner

Roaring back from a two-set deficit against the tournament’s third seed Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner stunned the tennis world on Sunday with his gutsy, come-from-behind performance to clinch the title of 2024 Australian Open Men’s Singles Champion. 

The 22-year-old Sinner, who is originally from a small town in the Bolzano province, is the first Italian to win the Aussie championship and only the third male player from Italy to win a Grand Slam title (alongside Nicola Pietrangeli and Adriano Panatta). He is also the youngest winner in a men’s final since Djokovic won his first major at the Australian Open in 2008. 

Two days earlier, Sinner beat Novak Djokovic — a Serbian currently ranked number one worldwide in men’s singles — in the semi-finals, earning him the chance to face Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the final. During an on-court interview after his Friday win, a delighted Sinner told commentator and former pro tennis player Jim Courier, “They call this the ‘Happy Slam’ for a reason.”

The Italian down under

Walking onto Melbourne Park’s Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, Sinner was pegged as the man to beat, but the world’s number three, Medvedev, had other plans. After the lanky Russian took the first two sets 6-2, 6-2, things were looking bleak for the Italian, but Sinner managed to turn things around, working his way back into the third set to come out on top with a score of 6-4. 

Continuing to build on his third-set victory, Sinner showed his signature calm and stellar shot-making, digging deep to go on to win the fourth set 6-4, thereby forcing a fifth and deciding set. With impressive poise and tenacity, he beat the 27-year-old Medvedev in a thrilling and nail-biting three hours and 44 minutes. The final score: 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3.

After lifting the silver trophy overhead, Sinner spoke eloquently before more than 50,000 spectators, thanking everyone who supported him over the 15-day tournament — from the crowd to his team to his family to his loyal fans back home in Italy (like the Carota Boys) who woke up early to watch him hit his way into the history books. 

In Italy, a country where sports attention and loyalties often overwhelmingly focus on soccer (calcio), Sinner’s success has generated new interest in tennis. The Associated Press reported that the ATP Finals championship match back in November, held in Turin, was the most-watched tennis match of all time on Italian television.

Italy’s Minister for Sport Andrea Abodi wrote of Sinner on X, “I’ve never seen such a great yet simple, profound and humane champion. I’m happy and honored that he’s Italian.”

On the same platform, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wrote, “Jannik Sinner wrote a new page in history today that makes us proud. For the first time, Italy has won an Australian slam. A memorable feat worthy of a true champion.”