The 2024 Australian Open men's final was both exciting and very anticipated. It was the first men's final in Melbourne without the Big Three since 2005, and it was the match of a member of the original next generation, Daniil Medvedev, and one from the even newer next generation, Jannik Sinner.
The two have met nine times before this final meeting in ATP Tour-level matches, and their history is very interesting. First, the Russian won all of the first six matches, before Sinner won the next three.
The Italian had therefore every right to be confident ahead of the final match, but Medvedev quickly extinguished his fire, breaking the 22-year-old's serve in the third game and grabbing a one-break lead in the opening set.
Medvedev would then add one more break in the first set, winning it 6-3 and setting the tone for the final match. The Russian has much more experience from the Rod Laver Arena, having played the final against Novak Djokovic in 2021 and against Rafael Nadal in 2022.
In the second set, the 27-year-old was the better player again, leading 5-1 and serving for the set, but a late push from his opponent nearly saw a miraculous comeback, as Sinner recovered one break and had another break point to make it even again.
Yet, the former world no. 1 managed to win the second set 6-3 and establish a 2-0 lead, something he also experienced before when he was leading 2-0 against Nadal in 2022. Back then, he lost the lead, and he wanted to avoid it this time around.
But Sinner had different ideas. In the third set, he improved his serve massively, not facing a single break point, and when he created one chance himself, he didn't throw it away, breaking the third seed's serve to win the third set 6-4.
The fourth set was very similar, but this time around, the Italian had two break points in games two and four, while the Russian had a break point in game seven.
However, the crucial break point came in game ten, when it was a set point for Sinner again, breaking his opponent's serve to win the fourth set 6-4 and force the decider.
Fans hoped for a dramatic finish to the final match, but the Russian simply lacked energy. Medvedev played the most sets a player has every played at a Grand Slam tournament, and it showed in the final, as he was just too exhausted to counter the Italian.
He stayed composed, he didn't get angry, and he kept his eyes on the prize, something he wanted to improve this season, and he did, as even though he knew the title and 2-0 lead was slipping away from him for the second time in Melbourne final, he didn't show it.
There's certainly a lot of praise he deserves for that, but unfortunately for Medvedev, there was one man who deserved even more praise on Sunday evening - Jannik Sinner.
The Italian didn't lose his nerves when he was 0-2 down, and in the fifth set, he showed why he's a generational talent, breaking his opponent's serve to complete the incredible comeback and win the match 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to lift his first Grand Slam title at the 2024 Australian Open.
Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev Match Stats:
|First Serve %
|Points Won After First Serve %
|Points Won After Second Serve %
|Break Point Conversion