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Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev in the final, 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(8-6) to capture the Men's Singles tennis title at the 2020 US Open. It was his first Grand Slam title. He became the first man in the Open Era to win from two sets down in a US Open final, the first to do so at the US Open since Pancho Gonzales came back to defeat Ted Schroeder in 1949, and the first to do so in any major final since Gastón Gaudio defeated Guillermo Coria at the 2004 French Open. Both players served for the championship in the final set (Zverev at 5-3 and Thiem at 6-5), but both were broken at 30. This was the first time in history that the US Open title was decided by a fifth set tie-break, 50 years after it was introduced in 1970.
Thiem's victory made him the first Austrian player to win a Major singles title since Thomas Muster at the 1995 French Open, the first player born in the 1990s to win a Major men's singles title, and the first new Major tournament singles champion since Marin ?ili? won the 2014 tournament. The gap between ?ili? and Thiem's titles was the longest between two new major singles champions in the history of men's tennis, surpassing the previous longest gap between Juan Martín del Potro and Andy Murray respectively at the 2009 and 2012 editions of the US Open. This was also the first time in history that four consecutive Major singles finals were decided in the fifth set (extending back to the 2019 Wimbledon Championships).
Rafael Nadal was the defending champion, but chose not to participate due to safety concerns related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the short amount of time between the US Open and the rescheduled European clay season. This marked the first time since the 1999 US Open that both Nadal and Roger Federer (who was recovering from a knee surgery) were absent from a Major.
There were no qualifiers this year. The ATP rankings valid on August 3 (being the rankings from March 16) were used to determine the main-draw entry list.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the tournament during his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreño Busta. After being broken to trail 6-5 in the first set, Djokovic frustratedly hit a ball towards the baseline before the commencement of the following game. This ball accidentally hit a lineswoman in the throat. Djokovic's unbeaten 26-0 2020 season, as well as his 29-match winning streak (extending back to the 2019 Davis Cup Finals), ended as a result. This guaranteed that someone born after the 1980s would win a men's singles Major tournament. Djokovic became the first player to be defaulted from a major since Stefan Koubek at the 2000 French Open.
Djokovic's ejection from the tournament guaranteed a first-time Major finalist in the top half of the draw. His disqualification also meant this would be the first major since the 2004 French Open not to feature either Djokovic, Federer or Nadal in the semifinals, the first major since the 2003 Wimbledon Championships in which none of the quarterfinalists had previously won a major, and the first major men's singles tournament not to have been won by Djokovic, Federer or Nadal since Stan Wawrinka in the 2016 US Open final. This also guaranteed a maiden major champion in men's singles for the first time since the 2014 tournament, when ?ili? defeated fellow first-time finalist Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Additionally, it meant this would be the first major won by someone under the age of 30 since the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.