Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner will face off in the Australian Open men’s final on Sunday as the engraver prepares to carve a new name on the trophy.
Since Stan Wawrinka won his only title in Melbourne in 2014, Novak Djokovic has picked up six trophies, Roger Federer has won two and Rafael Nadal has won one.
But Sinner’s shock defeat of a misfiring Djokovic in four sets on Friday has brought that era to an abrupt end, at least temporarily.
The Italian, who held off a fightback from the 10-time champion to reach his first Grand Slam final, has progressed serenely through the draw in Melbourne and did not drop a set until the semis.
He has been particularly impressive on serve—he did not face a break point against the Serbian top seed and has been broken just twice in 88 service games in Melbourne.
Sinner, 22, said his belief that he can make an impact at the majors was boosted by his impressive end to the 2023 season, when he beat Djokovic twice.
“I’m really relaxed, to be honest,” he said. “I just try to work as hard as possible and in my mind I feel like the hard work always pays off in one way, and we are working really hard for our dreams.
“If this can happen, it’s good. if not, I gave 100 percent, and the rest I cannot control.”
The fourth seed would be the youngest men’s champion in Melbourne since 2008, when Djokovic won his first Grand Slam at the age of 20.
Sunday’s final on Rod Laver Arena brings together two of the most consistent players on Tour—since the beginning of the 2023 season, Medvedev and Sinner have won more matches than anybody else.
The Russian third seed, 27, is bidding to win his second Grand Slam in his third Australian Open final—he was defeated by Djokovic in 2021 and by Nadal the following year.
But his path to the final has been markedly different from Sinner’s. He has spent 20.5 hours on court—nearly six hours more than the Italian.
Medvedev has played three gruelling five-setters, coming from two sets down to win two of those, including against Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.
“I’m stronger than I was before this tournament because now I know that I’m capable of some things maybe I thought I’m not,” he said.
The 2021 US Open champion, playing in his sixth major final, leads Sinner 6-3 in head-to-heads, although the Italian has won the past three meetings, including at the ATP Finals in November.
He hopes his experience will help him get over the line, though he admits his opponent has upped his game to a “whole different level”.
“I have no idea how Jannik is going to be, but me, myself, I have this experience. I will try my best. I will fight for my life, and let’s see who wins.”
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