Aussie master coach Darren Cahill has been praised for his role in mentoring Jannik Sinner to his maiden grand slam title after the Italian's stunning come from behind victory against Daniil Medvedev. Sinner defied the odds to reel off a stunning comeback to defeat the Russian 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 in one of the all-time great finals at the Australian Open.
Medvedev broke the record for the most hours on court spent by any player at the Australian Open, while Sinner showed why he was the deserved winner having defeated Novak Djokovic and then the World No.3 on his way to lift his maiden grand slam.
Simone Vagnazzi is Sinner's head coach, but Cahill is working with the group to help bring a more relaxed nature to the party. And Sinner's rise to the top of the sport has been remarkable since his Wimbledon loss to Djokovic last year, which saw the likes of Cahill work his magic on the Italian 22-year-old.
After his victory over Djokovic in the semi-final, Cahill credited Sinner with taking on all the lessons available from the loss and growing stronger as a result. “My role with Jannik is a little bit different to the other coaching roles that I’ve had. 99 per cent of the credit for the coaching goes to Simone,” Cahill said on Friday. “He’s done an incredible job with Jannik. I’m more overseeing everything.
“Certainly we discuss tactics and the technical (side) and everything, but Simone is the guy driving a lot of what you see with the improvements of Jannik and he’s doing an incredible job. And Jannik is absorbing a lot of that information. The match he played against Novak at Wimbledon went a long way to teaching Jannik where he needed to get better.
"When he was up two sets to love and lost that match against Novak, we sat down and talked about where the improvements needed to be made. And credit to him, he absorbed it." And Cahill's influence could be heard from the box against Medvedev with Sinner in the opposite situation.
Darren Cahill helps rally Jannik Sinner in Aus Open final
Sinner was two-sets down, but managed to ride out the storm, which saw Medvedev surprise the Italian with his tactics and take the ball on early. However, Sinner found his way back into the match as Medvedev faded.
And during the fourth set, Cahill could be heard yelling from the player's box that Sinner needed to stay strong as Medvedev was tired. Sinner has 'absorbed' this elite mentality from Cahill and it has shown from his form heading into the ATP Finals last year to winning the Australian Open in 2024.
Cahill has helped coach Simona Halep, Aussie great Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi all to World No.1 during their peaks. In fact, Hewitt became the youngest ever World No.1 during Cahill's mentoring. And the 58-year-old has been widely praised for helping turn the promising 22-year-old into one of the scariest prospects in the sport. Petra Kvitova, Rennae Stubbs and fans all made time to acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes.
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) January 28, 2024
— Rennae Stubbs 🇦🇺👍🏼 (@rennaestubbs) January 28, 2024
Also what an unreal feat by Darren Cahill, winning Slams coaching men (Hewitt, Agassi), then a woman (Halep), then a man again (Sinner).
Players from four distinct generations, cultures, and playing styles.
His versatility as a coach is unprecedented.#AusOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 28, 2024
Sinner.@darren_cahill takes another tennis player to the mountaintop. Hall of Fame-quality coach.
Cheers and congratulations, mate! Chuffed for you!
— Matt Zemek (@mzemek) January 28, 2024
You can hear someone (I think Darren Cahill?) shouting quite urgently at Sinner between points. "Right back at him! Right back at him! Let's go!"
The desperation for him not to go down a break here. To show his fangs. Winding the tension up and up and up...
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 28, 2024
— Port Adelaide FC (@PAFC) January 28, 2024
Just quietly, how good is Darren Cahill at this tennis gig? Lleyton, Andre, Simona, and now Jannik. World class quiet achiever.
— Robyn Lloyd.🏆🔴⚪️🔵 (@Robynlloyd01) January 29, 2024
Jannik Sinner praises Darren Cahill
Sinner was full of praise for Cahill during and after tournament and was already looking to the future. “I’m extremely happy that I am in this position now,” Sinner said.
“I have a great team behind me who knows what I have to do. With Darren, he has a lot of experience. He has been through this already a number of times. Simone, we were talking already after the match that we can improve still. So, you know, it’s all part of the process."
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