We needed the global pandemic of Covid-19, the crowd-free stadiums of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the Flushing Meadows health bubble and the disqualification of Novak Djokovic to see a final Grand Slam between two boys: Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem will compete in the final of the 140th edition of the US Open.
A set of coincidences (or astral conjunctions) that happen at least once in a Tennis Era, but which, sooner or later, had to occur. And so the German or the Austrian will be the first players other than the Big Three to win a Slam since the 2016 US Open, when Stan Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic.
Since 2006, in the last 14 years, only seven players have been able to win a Grand Slam. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro. To reach the final, Zverev, in the top-half, defeated rivals like Kevin Anderson, Andrian Mannarino, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Borna Coric and Pablo Carreno-Busta.
In the bottom-half of the draw, Thiem reached the final by beating oppenents such as Marin Cilic, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex De Minaur and Daniil Medvedev. Two different paths: Zverev avoided Novak Djokovic, disqualified in the match against Carreno-Busta, recovering a semifinal, against the Spanish who now seemed lost.
Thiem had very insidious opponents, but he never suffered on his way to the final.
Zverev vs Thiem: who will win the US Open 2020 men's singles final?
In the head-to-head Doomini Thiem leads 7-2. Zverev won the R23 of the Bijing tournament in 2016 and the Italian Open final of 2018.
Thiem defeated his young opponent on clay-courts and on hard-courts: the two most important and recent wins on this surface are the semi-final of the ATP Finals 2019 and the semi-final of the Australian Open 2020. It will be a balanced and very particular final, in which coldness and mental strength can make the difference.
Without crowds, but with a lot of pressure, the two players will have to find physical and mental energy to be able to win their first major. They both started out as clay-courts palyers, but over the past two years, especially Thiem, they have shown incredible improvements on hard-courts as well.
Thiem is in his fourth Grand Slam final: after a five-set defeat at the Australian Open 2020 against Djokovic, he will have an extremely important chance to win his first Grand Slam. Both for the experience accumulated - this is his fourth Grand Slam final - and for his comfort on hard-courts, Thiem is the favorite for the final victory.
Zverev comes from a semi-final where he wasted a lot of psychophysical energy, but the German will have his chances of victory if he manages to beat his opponent from a psychological point of view. It will be a challenge where physical strength, the power of the shots and the opening of the court corners will play a fundamental role.
Today history is rewritten: a Back to the Future. US Open 2020 men's final percentages Dominic Thiem 55% Alexander Zverev 55%