Coach Vagnozzi’s advice changes the game
There is a particular moment that changed the Australian Open final, won by Jannik Sinner against Daniil Medvedev in 5 sets. At the end of the second set, with the result 5-1 for the Russian, the cameras and microphones capture the words of coach Simone Vagnozzi who gives instructions to the Italian.
“Use this game to do something different, even on the second one you go behind. Let’s try to do something different with this game”, says Vagnozzi. The script on the field quickly changes. Sinner reduces the gap in the second set but fails to prevent Medvedev from closing 6-3. The strategy suggested by Vagnozzi, however, works and is a keystone of the match.
Sinner changes his position on the court, manages to handle the exchanges more easily and gains confidence at the start of the third set. At the same time, Medvedev’s tank is emptying. The Russian, fresh from another 5-set marathon in the semi-final, struggled in prolonged rallies and found no immediate solutions.
“We expected Medvedev to start strong and aggressive, because he was coming from a long tournament and didn’t want the rallies to get longer. We didn’t expect him to be able to do it so well. Jannik found himself in difficulty against an opponent who served 85% of first-teams. balls without making mistakes. Sinner didn’t start very well, especially on serve, but he could have made it to his first Slam final with a little more tension”, adds Vagnozzi to Supertennis.
In the second set, “down 5-1, Jannik scored a break and this changed the momentum of the match a bit. Down 3-5, Jannik had a chance to come back further: some cracks were starting to show in Medvedev’s game, who tried to speed up the exchanges from then on.” At the beginning of the fifth set, the last unmistakable signal: “Jannik won a 40-shot rally (39, ed.), he was also a little tired but hit the ball better”.