So many players with the experience of a Grand Slam final have talked about how different the occasion can be, particularly if it is the first time, and potentially overwhelming.

Medvedev, whose sole major triumph came at the 2021 US Open, hoped his greater experience in these situations would tell against Sinner.

While Sinner did not appear to be hampered by nerves, Medvedev simply suffocated him with an attacking approach in the opening two sets which proved to be a smart strategy.

Ultimately, the change in his fortunes boiled down to endurance – and perhaps some mental scars from the defeat by Nadal on the same stage.

Medvedev had spent almost six hours more on court over the Melbourne fortnight than his younger opponent.

Three times he had to outlast his opponents in five-set matches and twice fought back from two sets down, including a remarkable semi-final against German sixth seed Alexander Zverev.

Before the final, Medvedev spoke about Sinner having the physical advantage and knew he would have to make a fast start to maximise his chances.

However, he was unable to maintain the ferocity and depth of his groundstrokes, looking increasingly weary as Sinner fought back.

“I got a little tired physically. But I was trying to be proud of myself and I am,” said Medvedev.

“I was fighting, I was running. I thought ‘if tomorrow I don’t feel my legs it doesn’t matter, I’m going to try everything I can until the last point’ and I did it.

Another five-setter on Sunday meant Medvedev surpassed the previous record for time spent on court at a single Grand Slam tournament, which had been the 23 hours and 39 minutes Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz spent on his way to his 2022 US Open title.

After losing to Nadal, Medvedev started his post-match news conference with a sombre monologue where he said he had “stopped dreaming”.

This time, he struck a more upbeat tone and even managed to joke about his time on court.

“At least I got a record in something. I’m in the history books,” he said.


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