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An Italian Affair: Jannik Sinner breaks through down under

Photo: Getty Images

We have a new Grand Slam champion in men’s tennis. The 22-year-old Italian, Jannik Sinner, made history Sunday, becoming the first man from Italy to win the Australian Open. Not only is he the only Italian man to win in Australia, but he’s the first Italian man to win a major since 1976. Yes, that’s right, 1976. To put that time frame in perspective, the last time an Italian man won a major, we had Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, and the Ohio Players at the top of the Billboard charts. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you who sits on tops of the charts today. Alas, back to the tennis.

Sinner rallied from two sets down against world No. 3 ranked Daniil Medvedev 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. A thrilling five-set tussle that left the crowd and viewers at home alike in awe. Sinner’s incredible comeback topped off a special tournament for Sinner, a tournament in which he also beat world No. 1, Novak Djokovic, in the semifinals in quite stunning and even dominating fashion, in four sets, while on route to winning his first ever grand slam title.

We saw 34 five-set matches on the Men’s side this Australian open heading into the final, and of course Sinner, being down 2 sets to love early in the match, needed to win 3 straight sets if he were to win and finally break though, which we saw him do in dramatic style. This of course meant the total of five set matches was now at 35 for the tournament, which equals an Open Era record for Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open).

Sinner has always been viewed as one of those “up-and-comers.” With the iron curtain of Federer, Nadal and still to a degree, Djokovic closing, we have a new wave of young guns vying for world No. 1 status and Grand Slam championships. We’ve seen the talent of Carlos Alcaraz break through, and now we have a new formidable champion in Sinner.

Sinners is one of the most well liked and well respected players in the locker room and that is evident in the wide praise he’s gotten in the hours since breaking through in Melbourne. See the reactions of fellow tennis players and legends.

There’s no doubt the 2024 tennis campaign has started off with a major bang. The rest of the men’s side is now on Sinner alert. Italian tennis and the men’s game is certainly in good hands.

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