Jannik Sinner stormed back from two sets down on Sunday to beat Daniil Medvedev in a gruelling five-set Australian Open final and win his first Grand Slam title.
The Italian fourth seed had no answer to the Russian’s aggression in the first two sets but dug deep to win 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours and 44 minutes.
He collapsed to the floor following match point before returning to his feet to savour his moment of victory on Rod Laver Arena.
Sinner thundered 14 aces, hit 50 winners and broke Medvedev’s serve four times to become the first Italian champion in tournament history.
The 22-year-old is the first Italian man to win a Slam since Adriano Panatta in 1976 and the youngest man to win the Australian Open since Novak Djokovic in 2008.
But the result was a bitter blow for the third-ranked Russian, who has now lost a second Australian Open final after being two sets up, following his bitter defeat by Rafael Nadal in 2022.
Sinner praised Medvedev for his remarkable stamina throughout the tournament — the final was his fourth five-setter this year in Melbourne.
“Your effort has been awesome throughout the tournament, the hours on court and today’s effort running for every ball,” he said.
“It is remarkable to see. I hope you can also lift this trophy here and I’m sure that you can.
“It’s obviously a huge tournament for me and I want to thank everyone for making this Slam so special.
“My team, we are trying to get better every day. Even in this tournament we were trying to get stronger, understand every situation a bit better.”
Former US Open champion Medvedev, who has now lost five of his six finals in the majors, said Sinner deserved to win.
“You fought to the end and you managed to raise your level,” he said. “You and your team are doing an amazing job.
“I hope I can try to get the next one if we play in a final.”
Medvedev, in his previous six matches, had spent nearly six hours longer on court than Sinner, who had only lost one set.
But, looking fresh, he was quickly into his stride, unsettling the usually calm Sinner, who was unable to find any sort of rhythm against the Russian’s aggression.
The Italian, playing in his first Grand Slam final, was broken just twice in the entire tournament in the run-up to Sunday but Medvedev doubled that tally in the first set.
Sinner was again in deep trouble at the start of the second set, fending off multiple break points against a hungry Medvedev and pleading for backing from the crowd on centre court.
He survived that onslaught but was broken for a third time in the match in the fourth game when a poor drop shot allowed the Russian to set up a winner.
Medvedev raced through his service game to love, giving Sinner no time to gather his thoughts.
He hit a fierce forehand to set up two more break points in the sixth game and Sinner went wide with a forehand to slip 5-1 down.
The Italian broke back immediately but Medvedev snuffed out the mini-revival to surge into a two-set lead.
The third set was tighter and went with serve until the decisive 10th game when Sinner, who did not face a break point in the set, pounced to break and close the gap.
The momentum was now all with the Italian and the tiring Medvedev, who required strapping for his foot, had to fight hard to hold early in the fourth set.
Sinner fired three aces to edge 4-3 ahead and broke in the 10th game when Medvedev fired long to take the match into a fifth set.
With the tension mounting, both players stayed solid on serve until the sixth game of the final set, when Medvedev dumped a backhand into the net to give Sinner three break points.
A forehand crosscourt winner gave the Italian the crucial break and he closed out on serve to earn the biggest win of his life.