- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

PARIS (AP) - Men to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:



Ranked: 1

Age: 30

Country: Britain

2017 Match Record: 16-7

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 45

Major Titles: 3 - Wimbledon (‘13, ‘16), U.S. Open (‘12)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-Runner-Up, ‘15-Lost in Semifinals, ‘14-SF, ‘13-Did Not Play, ‘12-QF

Aces: Reached at least semifinals on four of past five appearances - losing to Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic each time. … Ranks only 39th on tour by winning 78 percent of his service games in 2017.

Topspin: Neither his serve nor movement are up to par this season. If he can’t get those straightened out, his stay in Paris could be short.



Ranked: 2

Age: 30

Country: Serbia

2017 Match Record: 20-6

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 67

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

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-Won Championship, ‘15-RU, ‘14-RU, ‘13-SF, ‘12-RU

Aces: Last year’s title in Paris made him first man since Rod Laver in 1969 with four consecutive major championships. … Also made him eighth man with career Grand Slam. … Hasn’t won a major trophy since.

Topspin: Not that long ago, was far and away the favorite at every tournament he entered. That aura has disappeared. … Will be intriguing to see what effect his trial coaching partnership with Andre Agassi has.



Ranked: 3

Age: 32

Country: Switzerland

2017 Match Record: 20-8

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 16

Major Titles: 3 - French Open (‘15), Australian Open (‘14), U.S. Open (‘16)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-SF, ‘15-W, ‘14-1st, 13-QF, ‘12-4th

Aces: Lost 4 of 6 clay-court matches entering tuneup at Geneva but won title there Saturday. … 2015 French Open trophy makes him only 30-or-older men’s champion in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990.

Topspin: No matter how poorly he might be playing entering a Grand Slam tournament, the sport’s biggest stages tend to bring out his best lately. If that beautiful one-handed backhand is clicking, watch out.



Ranked: 4

Age: 30 (turns 31 on June 3)

Country: Spain

2017 Match Record: 36-6

2017 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 72

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: ‘16-3rd, ‘15-QF, ‘14-W, ‘13-W, ‘12-W, ‘11-W

Aces: Only man with nine trophies from one major. … Withdrew from last year’s French Open before third round because of injured left wrist but seems back at his healthy best lately.

Topspin: Popular pick to win 10th championship, and rightly so, given his history of dominance on red clay and recent resurgence on the surface, including a 17-match winning streak and three consecutive tournament titles.



Ranked: 7

Age: 23

Country: Austria

2017 Match Record: 29-12

2017 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 8

Major Titles: 0 - Best: SF, French Open (‘16)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-SF, ‘15-2nd, ‘14-2nd, ‘13-DNP, ‘12-DNP

Aces: Grand Slam breakthrough a year ago marked him as an up-and-coming contender. … Playing well on clay in 2017, beating Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal; losses came against Nadal, Novak Djokovic and top-20 player David Goffin.

Topspin: Knack for strong returning - he ranks eighth on clay-court matches in 2017, breaking 31 percent of the time - and solid all-around game make him a threat to beat anyone on any given day.



Ranked: 10

Age: 20

Country: Germany

2017 Match Record: 27-9

2017 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 4

Major Titles: 0 - Best: 3rd, French Open (‘16), Australian Open (‘17), Wimbledon (‘16)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-3rd, ‘15-DNP, ‘14-DNP, ‘13-DNP, ‘12-DNP

Aces: Victory over Novak Djokovic in Italian Open final made Zverev youngest to win a Masters 1000 event since Djokovic a decade ago. … Also allowed Zverev to make top-10 debut.

Topspin: Still inexperienced, but the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Zverev possesses the skills and temperament to take a big step into the second week of a major tournament.



Ranked: 15

Age: 24

Country: United States

2017 Match Record: 22-8

2017 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 3

Major Titles: 0 - Best: 4th, French Open (‘15), U.S. Open (‘16)

Last 5 French Opens: ‘16-3rd, ‘15-4th, ‘14-3rd, ‘13-2nd, ‘12-DNP

Aces: Half of his losses this season came against top-10 players (Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Milos Raonic).

Topspin: Game doesn’t necessarily appear built for clay - big serve, big forehand - but some of his best results have come on the slow surface, which he says he enjoys competing on.


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


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