Just hours before Jannik Sinner came back to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, three of their top rivals were checking in at the airport to fly home. In bizarre scenes, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were all spotted at the airport check-in counter at the same time on Sunday afternoon.
World No.1 Djokovic lost to Sinner in the semi-finals, while Zverev went down to Medvedev on the same day. As for Tsitsipas, he lost to Taylor Fritz in the fourth round over a week ago, but clearly stuck around in Melbourne for a little while longer.
'THIS IS PATHETIC': Uproar over 'shameful' scenes after Aus Open final
Djokovic, Zverev and Tsitsipas must have caught the same flight home to their respective European countries, making it unlikely that they saw Sinner's epic triumph over Medvedev in the final. The young Italian came back from two sets down to win his first grand slam title, leaving Medvedev heartbroken.
Djokovic has now left Australia looking relaxed and happy and confirming that he will be back next year.
Looks as though he's travelling on the same flight as Zverev and Tsitsipas teams too.
Still happily taking photos with fans. What a guy! ❤️pic.twitter.com/3zHd2AYH2Z
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) January 27, 2024
In a thrilling final that lasted almost four hours, Sinner stormed home to win 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena. "It is obviously a huge tournament for me," Sinner said after becoming the first Italian to win the Australian Open and the youngest champion at Melbourne Park since Djokovic in 2008.
"I want to thank everyone for making this so special. My team there, everyone who is in this box, also working from home who works with me, we are trying to get better every day. Even during the tournament we tried to get stronger, trying to understand every situation a little bit better so I'm so glad to have you there supporting me, understanding me, which sometimes is not easy because I am still a little bit young sometimes."
Daniil Medvedev suffers fresh heartache in Australian Open final
It comes just two years after Medvedev squandered a two-set lead over Rafa Nadal to lose the Australian Open final in 2022. The Russian still only has one grand slam title to his name (US Open 2021) despite playing in six deciders throughout his career.
"Big congrats to you Jannik, you deserve it," Medvedev said in a classy runner-up speech. "It always hurts to lose in the final but probably being in the final is better than losing before.
"I always want to win but I guess I have to try harder next time but I'm proud of myself. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it today but I'm going to try to make it next time."
Sinner said winning his first slam felt surreal. "It feels great. I just have to process it, I guess," he said. "It has been a hell of a journey until now, even if I'm only 22.
"My parents, they always gave me the belief that I can do it in one way but in the other way they always kept zero pressure on myself. I had pressure when I started to play the first professional tournaments because I didn't want them to pay for my things. But from that moment I had my own money to provide for my team and that for me was a game changer."
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