Daniil Medvedev was no stranger to five sets at the 2024 Australian Open. In fact, not playing a match that went a full five might have been more surprising. Jannik Sinner had only dropped a set the entire tournament before losing one in the semifinals to Novak Djokovic. Maybe Sinner was just fresher, but he was able to outlast Medvedev to win the Australian Open 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3. Now Sinner might be on the verge of being the new king of men's tennis.
That might sound like hyperbole, of course, but Sinner has beaten Djokovic, arguably the greatest player of all time, in three of their last four meetings. When the two play now, Sinner seems like he should be the favorite. When was the last time anyone could consistently say that?
Sinner was playing in his first Grand Slam final and at the end remained extremely poised and calm. Sure, a couple of points he played tight, but who wouldn't? Overall, however, the 22-year-old Italian used his bombastic forehand, consistent backhand, and well-placed serve to win the first Grand Slam of the year.
Jannik Sinner defeat Daniil Medvedev to win the Australian Open
Sinner won't move up into the top four with the victory, but let us see how the year finishes. The future of tennis might be Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner but Sinner is the player who at the end of 2023 was much stronger. Plus, since last July, Alcaraz has won zero tournaments while Sinner has now won four, including the Australian Open.
After the loss. Medvedev is just 1-5 in major finals. He is a great player, but one might wonder if he is truly good enough to consistently beat players of the same ilk late in majors. He hasn't proven he can do so.
But the way Sinner played in the final, he knows he can go five sets against a very good player to win a Grand Slam. He also knows he can beat Djokovic. The only person who might stand in the way of Sinner being No. 1 is Carlos Alcaraz. That should be a rivalry to watch for the next decade.