There is no doubt that Austrian star Dominic Thiem is the underdog in Sunday's Australian Open 2020 Men's Singles final. He will be facing off against defending champion, Novak Djokovic, who is targeting a record-extending eighth title in Melbourne.
Thiem has had a phenomenal tournament so far. He stopped German sensation Alexander Zverev from tasting his first Grand Slam final by taking him out in the semis. Zverev won the first set but Thiem eventually found his footing and shut out the German 3-6,6-4,7-6,7-6.
Before that, in perhaps the most significant part of his tournament so far, Thiem eliminated World Number 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard also put up a good fight. All three sets won by Thiem were done so via tiebreak. Nadal was able to secure the third set, but the Austrian was determined to get past the hurdle. He eventually bested the Spaniard, 6-7( 3-7),6-7 (4-7),6-4,6-7 (6-8).
On Sunday's final, Thiem will be aiming for his first-ever Grand Slam title. Unfortunately for him, the man on the other side of the net has bigger ambitions. Djokovic is gunning for a record-extending eighth title in Australia. Not only that, he also has the opportunity to narrow the gap between himself, Nadal and Roger Federer when it comes to the overall Grand Slam title tally.
At the moment, Federer leads with 20 titles. He holds just one title more than Nadal, who has 19. Djokovic is currently within touching distance at 16. If he wins today, he can keep himself in the running to become the greatest of all time.
On his way to the final, the Joker breezed through his match against Federer in the semi-finals. He won in straight sets, 6-7, 4-6,3-6, although he admitted that the Swiss legend's groin injury played a big factor in the outcome of the match.
After having played less gruelling matches and with an extra day's rest, Djokovic is walking into the Rod Laver Arena with a big advantage. Nevertheless, fifth seed Thiem will be packed with motivation, given that he has the opportunity to win his first Grand Slam title. At 26, he also has an age advantage over the 32-year-old Serb.
With Sofia Kenin taking the Women's Singles title, a win from Thiem could herald a new generation of tennis stars. Who do you have your money on?
The Australian Open Men's Singles final is scheduled to be played at 8:30 GMT on February 2, 2020.