Daniil Medvedev’s Grand Slam Dilemma: Medvedev Earns a Unique but Upsetting Record After Australian Open Loss vs. Jannik Sinner

In the wake of the Australian Open men’s final, the tennis world erupted in applause for Jannik Sinner’s remarkable five-set comeback victory. He secured his maiden Grand Slam title with a 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3 triumph in the very first Major final appearance of his young career.

Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner at AO 2024 final

Amid the celebrations, however, there lies a bittersweet tale of runner-up Daniil Medvedev, who, despite displaying a resilient journey to the final, found himself on the losing end of an epic battle. In the process, he made some dubious distinctions and records.

Medvedev, the Russian world no. 3, faced a grueling path to the final, surviving three five-setters, including a remarkable comeback in the semifinal against Alexander Zverev. The toll of these battles resulted in an unprecedented record—the most on-court hours and sets played in a Grand Slam.

The 27-year-old spent a staggering 24 hours and 17 minutes in match time that included playing 31 sets throughout the fortnight in his 7 matches during the 2024 Australian Open, surpassing the previous record held by Carlos Alcaraz (in the 2023 US Open win)

While that was not enough, Daniil Medvedev even earned a bigger record that added to his heartbreak. Medvedev earned a unique but disheartening record as the first player to lose back-to-back Grand Slam finals from a 2-0 up lead in a best-of-5-set match. His latest disappointment echoed his 2022 loss to Rafael Nadal, showcasing the mental and physical challenges required to win a Major.

Medvedev acknowledged the pain of losing in the final but embraced the pride in reaching that stage. However, the tennis world empathized with the Russian’s ordeal and recognized the immense challenge of recovering from such a unique and agonizing Grand Slam final defeat, which has now happened twice in a row.

Daniil Medvedev and his Grand Slam dilemma

The saga of Daniil Medvedev’s struggles in Grand Slam finals continues, marking him as the least effective player in these high-stakes encounters. Once more, the Russian faced a hard blow, unable to capitalize on a two-set to zero advantage against Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open final.

This recent defeat compounds his woes, adding to a series of setbacks in Grand Slam finals, including the US Open in 2023 (against Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2022 (against Rafael Nadal), the Australian Open in 2021 (against Novak Djokovic), and in the US Open in 2019 (against Rafael Nadal).

With five losses in the finals of Majors and only one victory that came in the US Open 2021, Medvedev now holds the undesirable distinction of being the tennis player with the worst percentage of Grand Slam finals won, standing at a mere 16.7%. The next lowest winning percentage is of Andy Roddick with one victory in 5 final appearances at 20%.

As the statistics paint a challenging picture for Medvedev’s Grand Slam final performances, questions arise about his ability to seal the deal on tennis’s grandest stages. The repeated inability to convert advantageous positions into championship victories raises concerns about his effectiveness in crucial moments.

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