Men's tennis is starting to become a Big 4 again. Sure, Alexander Zverev kind of snuck in and crashed the semifinal party at the Australian Open, but three of the top four seeds made the semis with only Zverev bouncing Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals stopping a clean sweep of the top four. Zverev is a very good player, but Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev, and Novak Djokovic just seem to be at a higher level than everyone else.
One might expect the new Big 4 to keep battling amongst themselves for Masters 1000 and Grand Slam titles for the next year or so. The only thing keeping them from boxing all others out of those titles is the age of Djokovic. There is now a real question if Djokovic is the best player in men's tennis still or if one player has surpassed him.
That player is not Carlos Alcaraz either. Instead, Jannik Sinner might be the true top player in the men's game right now. The 22-year-old Italian has beaten Novak Djokovic three times in the last three months, and three out of the last four times. This includes Sinner defeating Djokovic in the semifinals at the Australian Open.
How to watch and what to see in the men's Australian Open final
Sinner is a different player than Alcaraz in that Alcaraz seemed to understand how to win quickly at becoming a pro but now needs to learn to adjust to what other players are doing against him. Sinner needed to go through different experiences to know how to win. But he appears to have learned quite a bit as he has won three tournaments since last August and is now in his first Grand Slam final.
The final certainly will not be easy, however. Daniil Medvedev is five years older than Sinner, plays amazingly well defensively, has won a Grand Slam (2021 US Open), and made the finals in four others. Medvedev will still have some nerves as every player does, even Djokovic, when one gets so close to winning a major. But he likely will feel less stress than Sinner.
The two players have met nine times already with the Russian winning the first six matchups and the Italian winning the last three. Medvedev and Sinner played five times last year alone. They have never played in a Grand Slam event.
When and how to watch
The Australian Open will take place on Sunday at 7:30 pm in Melbourne, Australia. That is 3:30 am ET. Tennis fans can catch the final on ESPN or Eurosport, among other broadcasts. One just needs to check their local listings to find where the Australian Open final is showing in their area.
I think that the match will go five sets with Sinner jumping out to a two-set lead. Medvedev has made a habit of playing five-set matches at the 2024 Australian Open so going the distance in the final is not going to bother him. The difference will be Sinner's pace on both his forehand and backhand and his ability to cover the court. Sinner will get a break midway through the fifth set and take the match 6-4 in the final set.