Jannik Sinner could knock Novak Djokovic off world No 1 spot after Australian Open win

Kevin Palmer
Jannik Sinner is the Australian Open champion
Jannik Sinner is the Australian Open champion

Jannik Sinner has claimed his first Grand Slam title and the 2,000 points he collected from his Australian Open final win against Daniil Medvedev has given him a huge boost in the ATP rankings.

The 22-year-old Italian handed Novak Djokovic his first loss at Melbourne Park for six years in the semi-finals but looked like he would have to settle for the runners-up plate as Medvedev dominated the first half of the match.

Yet Sinner found a way to fight back as he secured a thrilling 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 victory to become the first Italian to lift the title at the Australian Open.

The win in Melbourne will not have an immediate impact on Sinner’s world ranking, as he will stay at No 4 when the updated list is released on Monday.

Yet he is now just 1,545 points behind world No 1 Novak Djokovic, as he looks to make 2024 his year.

Sinner broke into the top ten of the ATP rankings last year and then established himself as a solid member of the top four players in the men’s game after a thrilling finish to the season.

Taking the next step was always going to be a tough task as players like Medvedev, Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz were ahead of him in the rankings.

Yet after beating Djokovic and Medvedev in Melbourne, Sinner now appears to be the form player in men’s tennis and if he continues his dominant form into the ATP 1000 events at Indian Wells and Miami, he may well be knocking on the door of the world No 1 ranking for the first time.

Sinner has plenty of points to defend from 2023 over the next few weeks as he won an ATP 250 event in Montpellier in the first week of February last year.

He also has 300 points to defend from his run to the final of the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam dropping off his ranking later in February.

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Sinner may need to win the Indian Wells and Miami Masters events to boost his points tally in this quarter of the season, with Djokovic likely to move further clear at the as he didn’t play in those events in 2023 and therefore has no points to defend.

So it may be that Sinner will need to wait until the clay court season before he starts to gather momentum in his push to claim the world No 1 ranking.

He was beaten in the second round of the French Open last year and will expect to go further at Roland Garros this year and may expect to do better in the ATP 500 event at Halle on grass in June, after going out in the quarter-finals there last year.

Form and fitness will be crucial in what comes next for Sinner, but he is certain to receive a huge confidence boost after becoming a Grand Slam champion.

“There are so many emotions. It will take time for me to process it all,” said Sinner after his win against Medvedev.

“The last game was tough. I was looking for the first point, which was crucial.

“I went to the net and the volley was not clean, but it was there. I wanted to push, I didn’t want to wait.

“Also on the match point I wanted to go for it. It was tough. You feel it. I tried to move him and the chance was there to go for it.

“I was physically struggling, but in the final, you have extra motivation.

“In my head, I knew he had so many hours on the court in this tournament and if the match went long, then maybe I might be the favourite.”