Either Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev will win their first Grand Slam title on Sunday – the former at the fourth attempt, the latter at his first.

And former US Open champions Boris Becker and Mats Wilander have had their say on the two contenders ahead of the showdown at Flushing Meadows.

Olympic gold? Wimbledon? World No 1? - Who wants what in 2021?
14/01/2021 AT 18:43

Both were quick to praise Zverev after the German overcame a stern challenge in the semi-final, recovering from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta.

"It is incredible what a monster of mentality Alexander Zverev has become," said Becker.

He went off the court after the second set but a different Zverev came back – he accepted he was down 2-0 and just didn’t accept going down in three like that. That’s been the story of the tournament – he’s been the strongest I’ve ever seen – his fighting spirit, his physical fitness, is second-to-none."

And Wilander echoed Becker's sentiments on Zverev's mental strength.

He said: "The tennis he produced in the semi-final is not enough when you play Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and probably not Thiem. But against the other guys, Zverev is hard to put away. So, hats off to him for not throwing the towel in, keep fighting even though you are not playing well at all early on. Keep fighting, keep fighting.

However, both Wilander and Becker believe that Thiem may benefit from his maturity and his experience in finals.

"I think the maturity levels of Thiem is so high compared to where it has been," said Wilander.

He’s so good right now and you can see he is literally right up there with the Big Three – he just hasn’t won anything.

"Thiem has been in three finals now so he knows what’s going to happen," added Becker.

So, how do they think things will pan out on Sunday?

"I’m leaning towards Thiem," said Becker. "But I think it’ll just be a couple of points difference. My gut feeling is favouring Thiem. Maybe it’s an advantage given Dominic has already played a Slam final.

"Maybe it’s a different mindset. Zverev is in unchartered territory now, he needs to start quicker, it is starting to cost him energy. In this final you are playing against another very strong player and you don’t get that many chances to win, so he’s got to start better."

And while Wilander agrees, he admits that Zverev is more than capable of causing another upset.

He said: "I don’t see a way that Thiem doesn’t win it, but I have to say that nor did I see a way that Zverev would come back after being a set down to Borna Coric and then two sets down to Carreno Busta tonight.

"I certainly think Zverev is much tougher to beat than he has done in the past and he is tough to put away. I would say Thiem to win this final, not easily, but maybe in four sets. But now Zverev has no pressure and he has always played well with no pressure."

Australian Open
Nadal and Thiem receive coaching setbacks ahead of Australian Open
14/01/2021 AT 11:47
Australian Open
Australian Open 2021: When does it start, how to watch and more
12/01/2021 AT 16:22