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Ricky’s pick for the Australian Open final: Medvedev vs. Sinner

The 2024 Australian Open will come to a close when Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner battle for the title on Sunday night. It marks the first time first time since 2005–when Marat Safin beat Lleyton Hewitt)–that the final does not include any member of the Big 3. Moreover, there is sure to be a first-time winner of this tournament for the first time since Stan Wawrinka 10 years ago.

Here is my preview and pick for Sunday’s grand finale.

(4) Jannik Sinner vs. (3) Daniil Medvedev

Medvedev and Sinner will be facing each other for the 10th time in their careers. Even though Sinner has not been on tour for very long, it’s already a substantial rivalry that has swung wildly in each direction. Medvedev won their first six encounter, but the head-to-head series now stands at a much more competitive 6-3 after Sinner won all three of their encounters last fall.

Although Novak Djokovic was obviously expected to be here, this really isn’t a surprising matchup. After all, Sinner has been the hottest player on tour over the past few months Medvedev has already been to the Aussie Open final twice.

The fact that Medvedev has made a third trip to the championship match is a minor miracle given the recent predicaments in which he found himself. The 27-year-old has come back from two sets down twice–first in the second round against Emil Ruusuvuori in a second-round match that went until 3:39 am–and then against Alexander Zverev in the semis. Medvedev also played a five-setter against Hubert Hurkacz in the quarters.

Sinner, on the other hand, is looking just as good–if not better–as he was last fall. The fourth-ranked Italian has surrendered just a single set this fortnight, to Djokovic in the semifinals in a match that Sinner otherwise dominated. Other than that, the 22-year-old destroyed everyone in straight sets.

It’s obvious that Sinner is the best player in the sport right now and by far the best player at Melbourne Park. That being said, Medvedev has a big edge in experience. This is his sixth Grand Slam final and Sinner’s first. The Russian is not going to go away without a fight.

Pick: Sinner in 5

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.