That, then, is us. Thanks so much for your company over the last two weeks, it’s very much appreciated, and enjoy the rest of the weekend – along with all the live sport we’ve got for you during it. Peace out!
Here’s Tumaini Carayol’s match report:
Jannik Sinner, though. I remember the first time I saw him play, and it was obvious then how good he was, but the leaps forward in the last few months have come quicker than I expected. His rivalry with Carlos Alcaraz might just carry us through the next decade or so, two totally different players and boys who share the same overwhelming love and care for our sport. To win your first major from two sets down, though, while not even playing that well, and closing out so confidently, tells us plenty about what’s to come and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Oh man, Medvedev looks ready to get out of here, while Sinner, mensch that he is, respects his presence by keeping himself low-key. They pose for photos, both now smiling, Medvedev puts an arm arounds his young opponent’s waist, reminds him to enjoy the moment, and finally he can go back to the locker room and cry his heart out. Godspeed, old mate.
Sinner congratulates Medvedev for forcing him to play better, praising his efforts and hopes that one day he lifts the trophy; he’s sure he can. He then thanks all the sponsors, ball kids and umpires, saying it’s great to be at the “Happy Slam”, noting that where his parents are, it’s -20 in the mornings. He tries to get better every day, even during the tournament, thanking his team for “understanding me” and explaining that as he’s still young, it’s not always easy for them but “it is what it is”.
He then thanks the crowd and his family, wishing everyone could have his parents. They always let him do what he wanted, even when excelling in other sports as a kid, and all kids should enjoy that kind of freedom. What a lovely young man he is.
Now here comes the champ, and he raises the trophy – representing a lifetime’s love and dedication – above his head. What a moment!
Medvedev takes a deep breath, starting straight ahead, and when the crowd go wold for him, he walks past the trophy – ooof – and just about musters a smile. He congratulates Sinner, saying he doesn’t think it’s his last Slam and will try to do better next time – that being the problem, given he played his best today. He then thanks his team and his family, telling them he’s trying to do it for them, and though it hurts to lose in the final, it’s better than losing before the final. He’s proud of himself– I’ll bet, rightly so – and will try harder next time.
How does Medvedev come back from this? Even if Djokovic never wins another major – and he will – playing his best and still losing to someone way younger, with Carlos Alcaraz also knocking about and both men improving, is a lot to process. He’s given us so much joy this fortnight, and as the camera pans to him, he looks every bit as distraught as you’d expect. I can’t for a second imagine the soreness in his soul, but we’ll find out what he makes of things shortly. I fear there may be tears.
Presentation time begins with respect paid to the historical owners of the land on which the court stands, and is followed by some boos when the name of Anthony Albanese, the Australian PM, is mentioned.
Having celebrated with his team, Sinner now sits quietly in his seat, Medvedev likewise; I’m certain he’ll burnish his reputation as a sound bloke in interview, but the pain he’s feeling now will be with him a long, long time. He gave everything though, executing a tactical plan to the best of his ability before succumbing to a fresher, younger and ultimately better man.
What’s really telling about all that is how confidently Sinner closed out. He was nervous at the start of the match – and who wouldn’t be, playing their first major final? – against an opponent playing like God. But he gradually improved, and when the time came to finish, he closed like he’s been doing it all his life – which I guess he has, in his dreams.
Oh man, oh man, oh man! Spare several thoughts for Medvedev, who has been amazing – even more amazing – these last two weeks. But Sinner has played a sensational tournament, hammering Djokovic to prove his ability, then coming back against Medvedev to prove his moxie. This will not be the last time we rhapsodise his ludicrous brilliance, and is the start of a new era?
A forehand winner cleansed down the line and Sinner falls to his back, the enormity of the moment too much. HE IS A GRAND SLAM CHAMPION! WHAT A MATCH!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-3 Medvedev Another big first serve, a booming forehand to the corner, AND AFTER FALLING TWO SETS BEHIND, JANNIK SINNER HAS MATCH POINT! HOLD ME! SOMEONE HOLD HIM!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-3 Medvedev Not so much now, a framed backhand falling wide, but another first serve landed means he’s in good shape … but a forehand drops long, and that’s 30-all. I am shaking and I’m not even playing, what moments these are, moments both men will carry tatted on their hearts until the day they die and maybe beyond.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-3 Medvedev Big first serve, easy point; service winner, 30-0 and two points away! Is he … enjoying this?
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-3 Medvedev* Medvedev must have in his mind how agonising defeat will be; he’ll have been able to assimilate the Nadal defeat, at least to some degree, because it was Nadal. But he played near-perfect tennis for two sets here, only to be reeled in by a major-final novice, and that will be stinging. But Medvedev is an animal and holds to 15, meaning Sinner will now serve for the title … and he’s flying!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 5-2 Medvedev in the history of our sport, no player has lost two Slam finals from two sets up, which won’t be the history Medvedev was hoping to make. But at 30-15, hanging in yet another disgusting rally, just as he looks in control, Sinner unleashes a forehand of unfathomable venom, quickly closes out his consolidation, and he is floating now! But the finishing line has a strong habit of puncturing any cushion of air, and this is not yet over – not by a long chalk. BUT JANNIK SINNER IS A GAME AWAY FROM HIS FIRST GRAND SLAM TITLE!
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 4-2 Medvedev* IS THIS HIS MOMENT?! A wide forehand from Medvedev followed by a backhand winner down the line give Sinner 0-30, then a bedraggled-looking Medvedev nets a volley and he must now defend three break points. Sinner burns the first going long, but a fine return – that may or may not have hit the frame – lands on the sideline, allowing him to dictate the point even when he directs his attempted putaway directly art his opponent, staying calm to clean up next shot! He leads by a break, and is two holds away from his maiden Grand Slam title! This is absolutely incredible!
We’ve now had two of the great Test-match wins on the same day.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 3-2 Medvedev Medvedev misses the sideline by a fibre giving Sinner 15-0, then at 30-15, a munter of a rally – the love and life these two put into getting ready for this, never mind performing in it – is eventually finished by Sinner’s forehand. Medvedev has now spent a full on court this tournament, and he’ll be feeling that when his opponent nails a forehand down the line for 3-2. He looks the likelier, but when the end is close, that doesn’t always matter.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 2-2 Medvedev* Chalé! A fantastic overhead from Medvedev, a leaping backhand overhead, facing away from court, getting him away in the game. Medvedev soon makes 40-15, an ace follows, and imagine the tension of tiebreaker here.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 2-1 Medvedev Sinner will want Medvedev back serving as soon as possible, and he holds to love. There’s a long way to go, but I can’t think of many who’ve won their first Slam final coming back from two sets down – Thiem did it against Zverev, but Zverev was also a novice going for his first, which makes it a bit different.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 1-1 Medvedev* In such contests, you often hear it said that it’ll come down to whoever wants it more, except both men want this more than they’ve ever wanted anything. But it’s Sinner whose game is holding up better and he reads Medvedev’s intention, racing to the corner to send a forehand winner down the line for 15-30; a service-winner duly follows, then another, then another. Stones!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 1-0 Medvedev What a match this is, and no more than the tournament deserves. On the men’s side, it’s been as intense an Aussie Open as I can remember, a record number of five-setters and some disquietingly, inspirationally maniacal tennis. And you’ve got to favour Sinner from here, momentum and youth on his side but also the serving that is often key in settling such contests. He found his range just in time and, if we’re being honest, can still play better than he is. This is Medvedev’s 31st set of the tournament, the most by any player in the open era of a singles Slam, and he makes 15-30 … only to go wide on the backhand. Sinner looks a different person to earlier – he’s grown up out there – gesticulating and such, but like he’s certain this is his moment, and he’ll believe that even more fervently when Medvedev ends a sapping rally with a backhand error. Medvedev will be struggling not to picture the agony awaiting him if loses here, and when Sinner carts an ace down the T to secure the game, you fear for him.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 Medvedev* A longer rally, Sinner netting a forehand, to give Medvedev 15-0; he’ll be grateful for that, but returns the gift sweeping long one of his own. Sinner then plays a really poor drop when poised to push in front, only for Medvedev to err for 30-all. The title might be here, right now, and sinner punishes a forehand towards the corner, a wondrous get from Medvedev, hanging a backhand that soars deep … and Sinner shanks his forehand! But have a look! He goes with it again next point, a terrifying winner earning deuce, and Medvedev directs a backhand wide! Advantage Sinner, the set up for grabs .., AND THERE IT IS! A forehand demolished on to the baseline, Medvedev can’t return, and WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES A DECIDER! OF COURSE WE HAVE! WHAT AN EFFORT FROM BOTH THESE FREAKS OF NATURE!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 5-4 Medvedev Up 15-0, Sinner nets a backhand, and both men are feeling it, exposing their psyches for our entertainment; thanks lads. Sinner, though, is hitting his spots on first serve more often, getting to 40-15 before conjuring a forehand from centre-line to sideline, a fantastic and unexpected shot that means Medvedev will shortly serve to stay in the set. I can’t wait, and it’s only 90 seconds away!
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 4-4 Medvedev* A big backhand down the line makes 0-15, but Medvedev wears it well only to guide a backhand wide at 30-15, and again this is tight. The rallies are getting longer out there, not that I’ve a clue who that favours given Medvedev must be tired but knows better how to construct them. And as the rallies are getting longer, so too are the games, Sinner making deuce with a backhand down the line, but from there Medvedev closes out and looks seriously indignant at the thought his serve might’ve been broken there. He knows how close he is.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 4-3 Medvedev* And it’s heavy! Sinner shanks a backhand wide, follows it with a double, and is this the championship here? A serve into the net, Medvedev with a second delivery to go at … but he hooks a poor backhand nowhere near anywhere; 15-30, and we learn that if he wins here, it’ll be the longest anyone’s spent on court so to do, over 23 hours, Nadal in 2022 the longest. He might remember that one! But at 30-all, a big forehand deep incites the error, and Medvedev has break point … so Sinner mass-murders an ace down the T, of course he does! Then, given a pass when Medvedev does little returning a second serve, he punishes a forehand winner, waggling and pointing finger before sealing a vital hold with an ace. He is relishing this now, and aren’t we relishing him relishing it too?! This is fantastic stuff.
DO NOT MISS THE TESTVANGELISTS!
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 3-3 Medvedev* Medvedev is back playing more aggressively, another fine volley making 30-0, and an ace seals the game, pressure dumped squarely back on to Sinner, who won’t be used to this – but also carries no baggage.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 3-2 Medvedev An absolute animal of a rally opens the game, a net-cord sitting the ball up and allowing Medvedev to take control of it. But he can’t force home the advantage, a forehand on to the baseline forcing the error … only for a double to gift 15-all. Sinner’s hitting really good lengths now, a backhand close to the chalk too good, and he holds to 15, though Medvedev showed better signs than of late. The build is agonising, because at some point, we’re getting a drop.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 2-2 Medvedev* A forehand winner and a Medvedev error give Sinner 15-30 – it’s him making the running now, though a service-winner levels the game. And shonuff, Medvedev nets a backhand when up 40-30, and losing that two-set lead to Nadal will surely be playing on his mind. All the more so when he does the same next point to cede advantage, making Medvedev play three rally-enders to actually end the next rally. This is tense and intense now, a big serve and a too-long lob securing a gargantuan hold, but Sinner remains the better player while still playing significantly below his best.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 2-1 Medvedev This is the beauty of five sets really, the match long enough to allow both players to play well and badly; Medvedev, perhaps improving again, plays a nice forehand for 0-15, then Sinner, definitely serving properly again, spanks down an ace. But he then nets a drop at 30-all and Medvedev, given a look at a mid-box second serve … can’t capitalise. Missed chance that, Sinner closing out thereafter, after which the Russian calls the trainer to have a look at his already taped right foot.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 1-1 Medvedev* Yup, two Medvedev errors make 0-30 … but two big first serves level the game. No matter: Sinner switches momentum in the next rally with a backhand down the line, raising break point, then makes Medvedev play another ball with a fine get out wide; Medvedev does just about enough with a mishit putaway. From there, he closes out, hanging in a long rally then slamming an ace down the T. That’s a crucial hold, but it’s the youngster in the ascendancy now.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 1-0 Medvedev Medvedev leaves court between sets, which makes sense – he needs to reset because momentum has switched, and Sinner has much better in him than we’ve seen so far. He’s also played a lot of tennis these last couple of weeks after taking time off, so any break he can get will help. But he’s back now and probably knows he’ll have to guts it out because recapturing the form of sets one and two seems unlikely now he’s tired. Sinner, meanwhile, will want to keep him moving while hitting more freely, and the holds are coming easily – this one to love. And it tells us how high his bottom level is: if he serves well, he’s very difficult to beat whatever else is going on.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 6-4 Medvedev* Now then! Medvedev nets a tired forehand, but given a look at a second serve, Sinner doesn’t attack it as he should … but Medvedev nets another forehand for 0-30! Here we go! A backhand winner makes 15-30, then a brutally long rally, the longest of the match, looks to be Sinner’s when he dispenses a lovely drop … but Medvedev runs it down … but the chance for the putaway is there …. but Sinner strikes wide! Oh what an oversight that is! We do, though, wind up at deuce, the Russian now the man forced to struggle for everything he gets, and when put on his bike, a squash shot that falls long means Sinner has set point! And there it is! Medvedev scoops a forehand over the baseline, and do we go ourselves a ball-game? We got ourselves a ball-game! Sinner didn’t play that well in that set but he played better while Medvedev played worse, and that was enough!
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 5-4 Medvedev Excellent from Medvedev, flipping back a pick-up that lands on the baseline, and when Sinner’s response is nondescript, he makes 30-15. Sinner, though, delivers an ace to raise game point – he’s serving better now – only to err on the forehand, then when Medvedev hangs in the next rally, a forehand swiped wide brings us to a deuce that looked unlikely a few seconds ago. Big pressure for Sinner now, who knows of he’s broken, he’s toast, and he desperately needs a first serve … but can’t find one. No matter, Medvedev goes long on the forehand, a poor shot given the circumstances – he had time – and the stakes – it would’ve taken him close to the title –and thanks to it, Sinner quickly secures the game. Medvedev must now serve to stay in set three.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 4-4 Medvedev* A service-winner gets Medvedev away, and he won’t mind playing percentages now the hot streak has cooled. Like so, another service-winner makes 30-15, a netted return makes 40-15, and another dominant point means another swift game. It cannot be overstated how nuts it is to consider when Medvedev was this time on Friday, and where he is now.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 4-3 Medvedev An ace makes 30-0 and from there, Sinner, 100% on first-serve points won this set, closes out for a love hold. He looks a lot less resigned now, and if he can snaffle this set, we’ll really be talking.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 3-3 Medvedev* Sinner chozzes down a carrot at change of ends then, handed a free point for 0-15, has a chance create pressure by taking the next. But he cannot, standing deep to receive a second serve and getting punished for his circumspection, Medvedev finishing the rally in short order. The problem Sinner has is that, in losing the tactical battle, he’s lost confidence in his ability to just hit the ball, so isn’t hitting it quite as well, and Medvedev seals a hold – to 30, so things aren’t coming as easily – with an ace.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 3-2 Medvedev Medvedev goes fractionally long when in charge of the first rally, Sinner winning the first point of a service-game for only the fourth time tonight. He holds to 15, and Medvedev is making a few more errors now.
“Sinner appears to be the Andy Murray to Medvedev’s Djokovic today,” reckons Simon McMahon. “I’ve nowt against Medvedev, he’s a great player and will have earned his victory the hard way after losing final appearances in 2021 and 2022. Murray a five times runner-up though! Sinner, however, will be back, unlike, I fear, Andy.”
Yes, in another era, Murray wins way more, but how much must those he has mean? Jim Courier has four due to playing at the right time, likewise Lleyton Hewitt who has two, but to invert Graham Gooch’s famous line, it’s not just how many, it’s how.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 2-2 Medvedev* Excellent from Sinner, getting Medvedev moving before wrongfooting him for 0-15, but can he stack a second good point on top of it? He cannot, missing when he shouldn’t, then unable to do anything as Medvedev plays a decent backhand to the corner and finishes off with yet another lovely volley. From there, he closes out for a hold to 15, and you get the sense that, at some point, he’ll break again and that’ll be that.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 2-1 Medvedev Medvedev makes 0-15 but then nets, and he’s not quite as fresh or as accurate as before. He’ll know, though, that in a five-set match that’s to be expected, and as long as he can keep holding, he can settle the match by taking a point here and there. But not here, Sinner holding to 15 and ending the game with an ace. He’s playing better now, but is still struggling to control the rallies.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 1-1 Medvedev* Given a look at a second serve, Sinner is well in the first rally only to direct a forehand into the top of the net Medvedev, who perhaps lost a bit of focus when up 5-1 in set two, then nets a forehand for 30-15, and another double makes things interesting here. But at 40-30, Sinner, well in the point, needlessly thrashes long, ceding a hold that was tougher than most we’ve seen so far tonight.
*Sinner 3-6 3-6 1-0 Medvedev Sinner left it too late to sway that set but is hitting more freely now, the deficit perhaps loosening his shoulders, and a forehand winner down the line gives him 15-0. And, though a double follows, a compensatory service-winner comes next, then an ace out wide, and this is what I thought this match would look like, little that I know. Medvedev, though, isn’t giving up the game, making 30-40, but a big serve and clean-up forehand give Sinner the start he needs.
Sinner 3-6 3-6 Medvedev* Yes he can, a terrific backhand to the corner facilitating the overhead volley putaway for 0-15, then a backhand winner, smoked down the line with Medvedev at the net, makes things interesting. Medvedev, though, finds a big first serve, a backhand winner of his own, also hammered down the line, halving his arrears. And Sinner has another chance when a dribbled second serve arrives, but it’s so poor it looks to surprise him, he nets, and another service winner raises set point. Except Medvedev, now feeling it rather than himself, doubles – it’s tight out there now – then nets, set point quickly becoming break point. His first serve has deserted him in this game, but a big forehand raises advantage, and another, down the line, secures a set that got tricky at the end but overall is the culmination of more fantastic work from the world number three. He leads 2-0 and it’ll take a comeback of ludicrous brilliance to prevent him winning his second major at some point in the next few hours.
*Sinner 3-6 3-5 Medvedev Better from Sinner, finding a decent T-serve at 15-all before a wide return raises two game points. Another service winner follows, meaning Medvedev will now have another go at securing the set. Can Sinner get ask more questions?