- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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



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.



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.



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.



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).



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.



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

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