Men's tennis will welcome a new Grand Slam champion to its history books Sunday.
Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev face off in the 2020 U.S. Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first men's Grand Slam final to not include Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal since Wimbledon in 2016. Sunday's winner will also be the first new Grand Slam champion on the men's side since Marin Cilic triumphed at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2014.
Since 2015, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal have accounted for 17 of the 20 Grand Slam titles. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka captured the other three.
Thiem challenged two members of the big three in his first three Grand Slam final appearances, but he fell in the past two French Opens to Nadal and at the 2020 Australian Open to Djokovic.
Zverev is appearing in his first Grand Slam final, and he is the second player to achieve that feat in the past two years at the U.S. Open. Daniil Medvedev fell to Nadal in last year's championship match.
US Open Men's Final Information
Start Time: 4 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN.com or ESPN app
At least for one tournament, the dominance of the three top men's players will come to a halt.
Djokovic was the only member of the triumvirate to enter the U.S. Open, but he was disqualified for hitting a line judge with a ball in his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreno Busta.
With the top seed out of the tournament, Zverev found his way through the top half of the draw to reach the final. The German advanced to the final by rallying back from two sets down against Carreno Busta. He also came from behind to beat Borna Coric in four sets in the quarterfinals.
The No. 5 seed detailed to ATPTour.com what qualifying for his first Grand Slam final means to him:
"When you start playing tennis at a young age, the thing that you always wanted to do is play in big tournaments [and] the big finals. I feel like this is the reason I started playing tennis. You've got to be able to handle it… For me, it was always about the big moments in big tournaments."
Thiem took a much cleaner route to Sunday's final, only dropping a single set (in the third round to Cilic). The No. 2 seed faced some challenges to advance to his fourth career Grand Slam final, but he fended all of them off. The most notable fight came against Medvedev, who pushed Thiem to a pair of tiebreaks in Friday's semifinal.
Medvedev and Cilic were two of the four seeded players Thiem eliminated en route to the final.
Thiem should come into the U.S. Open final with a wealth of confidence from his victories over seeded players, but he noted he is aware of the challenge Zverev presents, per ATPTour.com:
"I won't change my mindset at all. I know what Sascha is capable of. He's a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in [the] past years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything that he's capable of doing to win the title. It's going to be a super difficult match."
While Thiem expects a challenge from Zverev, the fight from the German may not be enough to deny the Austrian his first Grand Slam title.
Thiem should not be fazed by the stage of a Grand Slam final, and he goes into the title clash in better form.
To challenge for the crown, Zverev must clean up his play in the first set. He lost his past two openers by a combined 12-4. If Thiem cruises to a first-set victory, Zverev may not have the opportunity to come back in the manner he did in the past two rounds.