The 22-year-old Italian dethroned the world number one to power into his maiden Grand Slam final. Jannik Sinner moved closer to becoming the first Italian since Adriano Panatta in 1996 to win a Grand Slam title. Sinner downed defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena to hand the top seed his only defeat in the semi-finals of his favorite major in six years and power into his maiden Grand Slam final.
Sinner produced a master class in tennis in the opening two sets to put the wheels in motion. The 22-year-old Italian blasted through an out-of-sorts Djokovic in both and never allowed the reigning champion to get his groove on. The Serb remained on serve in the third set but was broken from 30-15 up in game nine before saving a match point to force a fourth.
The Serb was broken early in the fourth set, but he stayed strong to clinch the match when it mattered most. He will now face Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev in the Australian Open final.
While Djokovic was far from his best, Sinner delivered a career-defining performance. The Italian hit deep and consistent strokes with an accurate backhand.
After a year in which Sinner suffered injuries and struggled to recover his form, he looked to have turned a corner. The 22-year-old skipped the warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Adelaide to favor himself into shape, and the strategy paid dividends.
Sinner held firm in the decision as he closed out a decisive break for 3-1. He seized control with a delicate forehand and kept his nerve to seal the match.
Sinner will now play a major final for the first time and will hope to add a Grand Slam trophy to his three Masters 1000 successes in 2022. The feisty Italian has been backed by a hard-core support that carries tricolore flags and cardboard signs reading “Forza Jannik” in tribute to his strawberry blonde hair. Ahead of the match, Sinner praised his fans and said playing in front of them was an honor. “They give me so much energy. I have the best group of supporters in the world,” he said. “It’s an honor to play here for them, and I will try to make them happy in the final.”