Jannik Sinner was under tremendous pressure in his maiden Grand Slam final, but he handled it extremely well and won the trophy.
It doesn't get any tougher than the Italian had in his maiden Grand Slam final. The 22-year-old was facing a player with much more experience than him in Grand Slam finals, as it was Daniil Medvedevs's sixth.
It was a maiden final for Sinner, and while favoured to win, the Italian never found himself in that situation. The start wasn't promising, as Medvedev was all over him, dominating the rallies.
The Russian won the opening set. He won the second set, and it seemed like Sinner was on the ropes with no solution in sight. That's when he remained calm and kept chipping away while waiting for his chance.
Eventually, it came, and he pounced, which lifted some of the pressure. The longer the match, the more comfortable Sinner looked, and that's how he handles pressure. He considers it a good thing, which many athletes agree with, but very few actually back it up. He did that by winning the 2024 Australian Open.
"There is always pressure, but the pressure is something good. You have to take it in a good way. It's a privilege, no? Because there are not so many players who have this kind of pressure, but in the other way, when you have pressure, it's always, okay, he believes that I can really do it."
He's shown himself to be a pretty good big-match player. How can we forge the crucial win over Novak Djokovic in the Davis Cup Finals, where he saved three consecutive match points and won the match? He's just comfortable in those situations.
"So yes, I like to dance in the pressure storm. I don't know how to tell. Like me personally, I like it, because that's where most of the time I bring out my best tennis. I'm also quite relaxed in this occasion, because I always try to enjoy on the court. So I think pressure is a privilege, to be honest."