Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, October 29, 2023


Jannik Sinner dethroned defending champion Daniil Medvedev 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3 in the Vienna final to capture his 10th career title, including his fourth title of 2023.

Photo credit: Erste Bank Open Facebook

A marathon match pushed past three hours popping with exhilarating exchanges.

A driven Jannik Sinner was still giving Daniil Medvedev the runaround right up until the end.

Sakkari: Winning Ugly Key in Cancun

Sinner stung deep drives dethroning defending champion Medvedev 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3 in the Vienna final to capture his 10th career title, including his fourth title of the season.

Tennis Express

Tremendous baseline rallies pitting Medvedev’s accurate counter-strikes against Sinner’s unrelenting offense spiked throughout the match. In a frenzied 30-point game, Medvedev saved eight break points under near constant pressure before Sinner finally broke through for a 3-1 lead in the final set.

Still, Medvedev kept coming and earned two break points in the last game. Had Medvedev made a routine forehand off a drop shot the pair might still be playing right now. Instead, Sinner rose above the stress to beat Medvedev for the second final in a row following a 7-6(2), 7-6(2) victory in the Beijing final earlier this month that snapped Sinner’s six-match losing streak to Medvedev.

It’s been a milestone weekend for Sinner.

Yesterday, Sinner soared through five straight games sparking a 7-5, 7-6(5) Vienna victory over Andrey Rublev to reach his 13th Tour-level final. That victory raised Sinner’s 2023 record to 55-14—breaking the 54-win record he shared with Corrado Barazzutti to become the top Italian man with most wins in a single season in the Open Era.

Today, Sinner scored his 40th hard-court win of the season, a personal best, sealing his 12th victory in his last 13 matches.

Meanwhile, Medvedev continues an unusual history.

The 2021 US Open champion is one of the best hard-court defenders in the world, but has yet to defend a title in his illustrious career. Medvedev has won 18 of his 20 career titles on hard courts and all 20 of his titles in 20 different cities as he’s come up short in title defenses.

"I have that thing, apparently I cannot defend my titles anywhere I won already," Medvedev told Vienna fans. "I will try to do it next time."

Down the stretch today, coach Darren Cahill exhorted Sinner to “try something different.” The world No. 4 answered his coach’s call.

Sinner looked physically stronger and threw in just enough variety—the Italian won 18 of 26 trips to net, while the defending champion won just three points in the frontcourt—to unsettle Medvedev for the second straight final.

It wasn’t easy—Sinner saved two set points in the opening set and got some help from his opponent staving off those two break points in the final game—but it was a gritty gut-check win for the Wimbledon semifinalist.

Serving at 5-6, Sinner was down love-30 when he played a pair of proactive points to level. The lanky Italian pushed a drop shot attempt wide to face a set point.

Sinner, who had been serving wide, switched it up sending a serve down the T to erase set point. A forehand drive volley gave Sinner game point. Sinner smacked the wide serve setting up a successful serve-and-volley to force the first-set tiebreaker.

Bolting a big serve down the T put Medvedev up 4-1 in the tiebreaker. Down 4-5, Sinner hit an ace out wide and followed with a diagonal forehand for his first set point. Medvedev drew a backhand error to deny it.

Sinner struck an ace to save a second set point.

On his second set point, Sinner attacked behind forehand, drew a netted pass from Medvedev then turned and raised clenched fist to his box, snatching the 62-minute opener. Sinner served 81 percent and hit all three aces in the breaker, effectively sliding aces down the T.

Three games into the second set, Medvedev was not missing earning double break point. The Medvedev backhand was rock-solid to that point, but he sprayed a forehand on the first break point then narrowly missed a backhand pass down the line as Sinner dodged the second break point.

Slamming down an overhead, Sinner saved a third break point. On the strength of some ballistic forehands and timely backhand drives down the line, Sinner subdued stress holding for 2-1.

The 22-year-old Italian’s net play is much improved during his rise to No. 4, but his transition game cost him the break in the fifth game. Sinner played a forehand drive volley right back into the corner where Medvedev was ready and waiting to fire a forehand pass for break point. On the next point, Sinner again tried to attack but bungled a backhand volley wide as Medvedev earned the first break of the second set.

The defending champion cruised through the confirmation hold for 4-2 while Sinner’s attempts to hit through the 6’6” Russian were proving increasingly futile.

Soaking up the pace, Medvedev was redirecting brilliantly on the run and competing with control. When Sinner slapped a smash into the tape, Medvedev scored his second straight break for 5-2.

On his second bid to serve out the second set, Medvedev caught a break when Sinner botched a high forehand volley for double-set point. Medvedev closed to force a final set.

It was the first time in five Vienna matches that Sinner surrendered a set.

Navigating a tough, draining hold for a 2-1 lead, Sinner tightened the screws in the ensuing game with double break point. On the second break point, a stretched Sinner flicked back a backhand that clung to the top of the tape for a moment before crawling back on his side of the net. Medvedev saved a third break point when Sinner netted a forehand return.

The man in the vanilla baseball cap kept his cool winning a rapid-fire net exchange for a fourth break point. Medvedev nullified it with a stinging serve. A fifth break point came and went when Sinner slipped and netted a running forehand. When Sinner squandered a sixth break point netting another forehand he bounced his Head racquet off the blue court in frustration.

Slamming an ace to save an eighth break point, Medvedev had fought off 11 of 13 break points in the match by then as the game waged on to its 12th deuce.

A stubborn Sinner refused to yield, flicking back a lunging return that provoked an errant backhand to end a marathon 30 point game. Sinner converted his 12th break point of the set edging ahead for 3-1.

That physically-punishing game sparked a string of three breaks in a row as Sinner went up 4-2.

Nose-to-nose at net, Sinner nudged an angled backhand to win a drop-shot duel and go up 30-love. Sinner thumped a heavy serve to move ahead 5-2.

On his first championship point, which came on Medvedev’s Sinner lined up a two-hander but netted his drive down the line. Medvedev stood tall fighting off match point to hold in the eighth game.

Staring down double break point in the ninth game, Sinner tapped a poor drop shot that sat up. Medvedev caught up to it but spun his reply long. Sinner saved both break points then jerked the Russian corner-to-corner finishing with a fiery forehand for a second championship point.

Coaxing a floating return, Sinner wrapped up his fourth title of the season prevailing in a grueling battle.

When the three hour, four-minute battle ended, a smiling Sinner looked a little too weary for extensive celebration as he trotted over to his court side box to embrace coaches Simone Vagnozzi and Darren Cahill.


Latest News