Legendary Australian tennis coach Darren Cahill knows what it’s like to win.
The 58-year-old has coached Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Simona Halep and now Jannik Sinner to grand slam titles, completing one of the greatest coaching resumes the game has ever seen with his current pupil’s Australian Open win on Sunday night.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Aussie coach Darren Cahill steps back from the limelight.
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Sinner won his first major title with an epic win in five sets over Daniil Medvedev at Rod Laver Arena, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
The 22-year-old Italian collapsed onto the ground in disbelief and joy, having come from two sets down to steal the historic win.
It sent the Melbourne crowd into raptures, not least Sinner’s support team in his players’ box courtside, including Cahill and co-coach Simone Vagnozzi.
But with all eyes on Sinner and his team, Cahill took a moment to step away from the eyes of the world.
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In pictures not broadcast until well after the act, Todd Woodbridge pointed out Cahill allowed the rest of Sinner’s team to celebrate and take the focus before he got up and joined them.
“Darren Cahill in the green hoodie there on the right of screen, and he is one of those guys that he doesn’t look for the limelight,” Woodbridge said.
“He actually jumped out of the way with the big cuddle in the stands earlier, and he knows it’s all about the player and it’s all about the reaction back home; could you imagine the scenes in Italy?”
Darren Cahill is a significant part of Sinner’s team. Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images
Jim Courier added: “Most of the team is Italian and (Simone) was the initial coach (Sinner) hired, and they decided together that they needed to bring in Darren Cahill as well, a technical expert.
“(Cahill) has done a lot of the work changing the way (Sinner’s) game looks, the service motion has changed many times and Darren has talked often about how excellent he is at that aspect and how well they work together, with Darren coming in and helping with the tactics and some of the experience he brings.
“I haven’t seen his reaction.”
Seeing Cahill’s reaction for the first time on replay, Courier was blown away.
“Oh, that is amazing,” the two-time Australian Open champion said.
“He’s had those moments before and he let the other guys experience it — that’s amazing.”
Speaking after becoming the first Italian to win the Australian Open, Sinner said it was a massive moment in his career.
Jannik Sinner with the Australian Open trophy after his epic comeback win over Daniil Medvedev. Credit: AAP
“It is obviously a huge tournament for me,” Sinner said.
“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.”
Indeed Sinner’s Australian super-coach Cahill repeatedly urged his special charge to “weather the storm” as Medvedev raced through the first two sets to take a stranglehold on the match.
And Sinner duly delivered as the Russian world No.3 endured a painful case of deja vu on Rod Laver Arena.
Two years ago, Medvedev squandered a two-sets-to-love lead in a crushing finals loss to Rafael Nadal at Melbourne Park.
Now lightning has struck twice with Medvedev sure to be haunted for years about his latest collapse, albeit entirely understandable.
– With AAP