- Associated Press - Saturday, January 12, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Men to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday:



Seeded: 1

Age: 25

Country: Serbia

2012 Match Record: 75-12

2012 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 34

Major Titles: 5 _ Australian Open (‘08, `11, `12), Wimbledon (‘11), U.S. Open (‘11).

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-Won Championship, `11-W, `10-Lost in Quarterfinals, `09-QF, `08-W

Topspin: Is the two-time defending champion, and has won three of the last five Australian titles _ including the epic 5-hour, 53-minute five-set win over Rafael Nadal last year _ making Melbourne Park his most successful major venue. … Has been a finalist at six of the past eight Grand Slam tournaments, winning four of those. … Finished last season off with three late wins to give him six titles from 11 finals. … Regained the No. 1 ranking in November and finished the year atop the rankings in back-to-back years. … His 75 wins in 2012 were the second most in his career. … Had a minor stumble at the Hopman Cup mixed-teams event in Perth, losing to Australia’s Bernard Tomic in the group stage.



Seeded: 2

Age: 31

Country: Switzerland

2012 Match Record: 71-12

2012 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 76

Major Titles: 17 _ Wimbledon (‘03, `04, `05, `06, `07, `09, `12), U.S. Open (‘04, `05, `06, `07, `08), Australian Open (‘04, `06, `07, `10), French Open (‘09),

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-Lost in semifinals; `11-SF, `10-W, `09-F, `08-SF.

Topspin: Playing in 53rd consecutive Grand Slam tournament, longest active streak. … Reached at least the quarterfinals at a record 34 consecutive majors. … Holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 (302). … His win at Wimbledon last year ended a run of 10 majors without a title, giving him his unparalleled 17th Grand Slam title. … Since winning his first Australian Open in 2004, has never failed to reach the semifinals or better. … In the years he hasn’t won the Australian title since `04, he has lost to the eventual champion all but once.



Seeded: 3

Age: 25

Country: Britain

2012 Match Record: 56-16

2012 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 24

Major Titles: 1 _ U.S. Open (‘12)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-SF, `11-F `10-F, `09-4th, `08-1st

Topspin: Finally ended the 76-year drought for British men at the majors when he beat Djokovic in five sets in the U.S. Open final. … Had a breakout season, winning the Olympic gold medal _ beating Federer in the final _ and his first Grand Slam final after losing in the championship match four times, including twice at Melbourne Park. … Reached back-to-back finals at Melbourne Park in 2010 and `11 and in a bid to improve hired Ivan Lendl before last year’s trip to Australia. Lost to eventual champion Djokovic in the semifinals and was then eliminated in the quarterfinals at the French before making the final at Wimbledon, the first British man to reach the final at the All England Club since Bunny Austin in 1938. … Arrived in Australia in a more relaxed mood than any previous year and successfully defended his title at the Brisbane International.



Seeded: 4

Age: 30

Country: Spain

2012 Match Record: 76-15

2012 Singles Titles: 7

Career Singles Titles: 18

Major Titles: 0 _ Best: SF, at U.S. Open (‘07, `12), at Australian Open (‘11), at French Open (‘12)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-QF, `11-SF, `10-2nd, `09-3rd, `08-QF

Topspin: Led the tour with most titles (7) and most match wins (76) and was the only player on tour to win multiple titles on hard and clay courts. … Was the first 30-something player to lead the ATP tour in titles since Andre Agassi in 2002 … Just keeps getting better with age, reaching quarterfinals at all four majors for the first time, producing a career-high 11-match winning streak _ twice _ and guiding Spain to its fourth Davis Cup final in five years. … With Rafael Nadal out injured, is the leading Spaniard in the draw.



Seeded: 5

Age: 27

Country: Czech Republic

2012 Match Record: 61-23

2012 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 8

Major Titles: 0 _ Best: F, at Wimbledon (‘10)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-QF, `11-QF, `10-2nd, `09-4th, `08-4th.

Topspin: First Czech player with three straight top-10 seasons since Lendl had 13 in a row from 1980 to 1992. Since Berdych’s loss to Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon final, his best Grand Slam results have been two quarterfinal appearances at Melbourne Park and the semifinals at last year’s U.S. Open, where he defeated Federer in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Murray in the penultimate round. … His 2012 highlight was leading the Czech Republic to its first Davis Cup title since 1980, going 6-1 in singles.



Seeded: 6

Country: Argentina

2012 Match Record: 65-17

2012 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 13

Major Titles: 1 _ Best: U.S. Open (‘09)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12_QF, `11-2nd, `10-4th, `09-QF, `08-2nd.

Topspin: Reached the quarterfinals at three of the four majors in 2012 in his most consistent season since 2009, when he reached the quarterfinal in Melbourne and semifinal at Roland Garros before claiming his only Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open, when he defeated Nadal in the semis and Federer in the final, ending Federer’s five-year winning streak in New York.



Seeded: 7

Age: 27

Country: France

2012 Match Record: 55-25

2012 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 9

Major Titles: 0 _ Best: F, at Australian Open (‘08)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-4th, `11-3rd, `10-SF, `09-QF, `08-F

Topspin: Lost in five sets to Djokovic in French Open quarterfinals, lost in four sets to Murray in Wimbledon semifinals. … Big serve and forehand make him a threat at Melbourne Park, where he’s had more success than any of the other three Grand Slam venues. … Has the talent to succeed but has been inconsistent _ went 1-15 against top-10 players in 2012 after 10-13 record in 2011.



Seeded: 13

Age: 22

Country: Canada

2012 Match Record: 45-20

2012 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 3

Major Titles: 0 _ Best: 4th, at U.S. Open (‘12) and Australian Open (‘11)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-3rd, `11-4th, `10-Did Not Play, `09-DNP, `08-DNP

Topspin: Led the ATP World Tour in 2012 in percentage of service games won (93) and percentage of first-serve points won (82) and break points saved (74); ranks second to John Isner in total aces. … Was the youngest player in the year-end top 20. … Led Canada into the 2013 Davis Cup World Group. … At 6-foot-5, and armed with a huge serve, Raonic is regularly mentioned as an up-and-coming player to watch. … In seven career Grand Slam appearances, only twice made it past the third round.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide