- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Men to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:

___

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Ranked: 1

Age: 28 (Turns 29 on Sunday)

Country: Serbia

2016 Match Record: 37-3

2016 Singles Titles: 5

Career Singles Titles: 64

Major Titles: 11 - Australian Open (‘08, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16), Wimbledon (‘11, ‘14, ‘15), U.S. Open (‘11, ‘15)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-Lost in Final, ‘14-F, ‘13-SF, ‘12-F, ‘11-SF

Topspin: Winning the French Open would give him four consecutive major championships, something no man has done since Rod Laver won a true Grand Slam in 1969. … Title at Roland Garros would make him eighth man with career Grand Slam. … Jim Courier in 1992 was last man to win Australian Open, French Open in same year. … This is 12th appearance at Roland Garros; the most attempts to win the title before doing so is 11. … 14-1 against top-10 opponents in 2016.

___

ANDY MURRAY

Ranked: 2

Age: 29

Country: Britain

2016 Match Record: 22-5

2016 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 36

Major Titles: 2 - Wimbledon (‘13), U.S. Open (‘12)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-SF, ‘14-SF, ‘13-Did Not Play, ‘12-QF, ‘11-SF

Topspin: Victory over Novak Djokovic in Italian Open final gave him three clay-court titles in past two seasons and assured him of No. 2 seeding in Paris. … While his two Grand Slam titles came on faster surfaces - hard courts at the U.S. Open, grass courts at Wimbledon - Murray has shown he can compete with the best on slow clay, including three semifinal runs at Roland Garros in his last four appearances. … Recently split from coach Amelie Mauresmo; no permanent replacement has been named yet.

___

STAN WAWRINKA

Ranked: 4

Age: 31

Country: Switzerland

2016 Match Record: 18-7 (Playing at Geneva this week)

2016 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 13

Major Titles: 2 - French Open (‘15), Australian Open (‘14)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-Won Championship, ‘14-1st, 13-QF, ‘12-4th, ‘11-4th

Topspin: A year ago, beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the final for his second Grand Slam title. … Became the first 30-or-older men’s champion in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. … Before entering tuneup tournament in Geneva, was only 3-3 on red clay this season and 3-5 in last eight matches overall.

___

RAFAEL NADAL

Ranked: 5

Age: 29 (turns 30 on June 3)

Country: Spain

2016 Match Record: 27-8

2016 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 69

Major Titles: 14 - French Open (‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14), Wimbledon (‘08, ‘10), U.S. Open (‘10, ‘13), Australian Open (‘09)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-QF, ‘14-W, ‘13-W, ‘12-W, ‘11-W

Topspin: 70-2 career record at Roland Garros. Only losses came in 2009’s fourth round against Robin Soderling, and in 2015’s quarterfinals against Novak Djokovic. … Only man with nine trophies from one Grand Slam tournament; only one with five in a row at French Open. … Career record on clay is 363-34, a .914 winning percentage; 49-9 in clay finals. … Won at least two European clay-court titles entering French Open in 10 of past 12 years (exceptions were 2014, 2015).

___

KEI NISHIKORI

Ranked: 6

Age: 26

Country: Japan

2016 Match Record: 29-9

2016 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 11

Major Titles: 0 - Best: F, U.S. Open (‘14)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-QF, ‘14-1st, ‘13-4th, ‘12-DNP, ‘11-2nd

Topspin: Has firmly established himself as a top-10 player but having trouble breaking through to next level: Past six losses were to Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal. … Ranks fourth on tour in 2016 in percentage of break points saved, 69.

___

MILOS RAONIC

Ranked: 9

Age: 25

Country: Canada

2016 Match Record: 24-6

2016 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 8

Major Titles: 0 - Best: SF, Australian Open (‘15), Wimbledon (‘14)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘15-DNP, ‘14-QF, ‘13-3rd, ‘12-3rd, ‘11-1st

Topspin: Missed last year’s French Open after surgery on his right foot. … Four of his losses this season came against No. 1 Novak Djokovic or No. 2 Andy Murray (twice each) - and the other two came against No. 19 Nick Kyrgios. … Owner of one of the top serves; leads tour in 2016 in percentage of break points saved (74) and percentage of service games won (90).

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide