Capsules on top men's players at the 2017 Australian Open

Capsules on top men's players at the 2017 Australian Open

Updated Mar. 5, 2020 1:20 a.m. ET

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Men to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday at Melbourne Park:



Seeded: 1


Age: 29

Country: Britain

2016 Match Record: 78-9

2016 Singles Titles: 9

Career Singles Titles: 44

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-Lost in Final, `15-F, `14-Lost in Quarterfinals, `13-F, `12-Lost in Semifinals.

Topspin: Usurped Novak Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking after a stunning finish to 2016, when he won Wimbledon and the Olympic gold medal at Rio de Janeiro and added titles in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris. ... Clinched the year-ending No. 1 ranking by winning the ATP Finals. ... Became the first British man to reach No. 1 in the ATP rankings, the second-oldest player to debut at No. 1 ... Set a record for most time between first gaining No. 2 and No. 1 rankings - 7 years and 82 days, after seven stints at No. 2. ... After setting so many marks for British men, one still eludes him: an Australian Open title. ... Has lost 5 finals in the last 7 years at Melbourne Park, including 4 to Djokovic ('16, `15, `13, `11). ... Left in a hurry after a straight-sets loss here last year to be with his wife, Kim Sears, for the birth of their first child (Sophia Olivia, born Feb. 7). ... Resurgence coincided with reunion with coach Ivan Lendl in June.



Seeded: 2

Age: 29

Country: Serbia

2016 Match Record: 65-9

2016 Singles Titles: 7

Career Singles Titles: 67

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-Won Championship, `15-W, `14-QF, `13-W, `12-W.

Topspin: Nobody has won more Australian Open titles than Djokovic, who made his Grand Slam breakthrough by winning the 2008 final as the No. 3 seed. ... Won three in a row from 2011-'13 and the last two - both against Murray. ... Excels on the hard courts at the Australian Open, where he is aiming to be the first man to win seven singles crowns and break a tie with Roy Emerson, who won his home title in 1961 and from 1963-67. ... Reached six consecutive major finals, winning five, from the 2015 Australian to winning his maiden French Open title last year ... Lost in the third round at Wimbledon to Sam Querrey, then was beaten by Stan Wawrinka in the U.S. Open final. ... Spent 122 consecutive weeks at No. 1 before being replaced by Murray on Nov. 7. ... Beat Murray in the final at Doha to open the season.



Seeded: 3

Age: 26

Country: Canada

2016 Match Record: 52-17

2016 Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 8

Major Titles: 0. Best: Final ('16 Wimbledon).

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-SF, `15-QF, `14-3rd, `13-4th, `12-3rd.

Topspin: Started a breakout season here last year by reaching the semifinals, beating Stan Wawrinka in 5 sets before losing to Murray in 5. ... Became the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final, at Wimbledon, where he lost to Murray. ... All 8 career titles have come on hardcourts. ... Has a big serve and is increasingly conscious of going to the net. ... Started 2017 at the Brisbane International, beating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals before his title defense ended in a semifinal loss to eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov.



Seeded: 4

Age: 31

Country: Switzerland

2016 Match Record: 46-18

2016 Titles: 4

Career Titles: 15

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-4th, `15-SF, `14-Won, `13-4th, `12-3rd.

Topspin -The long-time No. 2 even in his home country, Wawrinka won his maiden Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park in 2014, when he beat Nadal to become the oldest first-time major winner since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. ... Has learned how to peak when it counts, beating the World No. 1 in the finals at the Australian Open, the French Open (against Djokovic in 2015) and the U.S. Open (Djokovic, last year). ... According to the ATP, he is 0-20 in other rounds and tournaments against the No. 1 player. ... Broke the Djokovic-Murray run of majors when he won at the U.S. Open last year, becoming the oldest men's champion at Flushing Meadows since Ken Rosewall in 1970. ... Considers his one-handed backhand his best shot.



Seeded: 5

Age: 27

Country: Japan

2016 Match Record: 58-21

2016 Titles: 1

Career Titles: 11

Major Titles: 0. Best: Final (U.S. Open `14).

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-QF, `15-QF, `14-4th, `13-4th, `12-QF.

Topspin: Under pressure in Japan, where expectations have been rising since his run to the U.S. Open final in 2014. ... Reached the second week of every major in 2016, including a win over Murray at the U.S. Open before losing to Wawrinka in the semifinals. ... Was hampered by a hip problem in the final of the Brisbane International. ... Has won all but one of his 11 titles on hard courts.



Seeded: 9

Age: 30

Country: Spain

2016 Match Record: 39-14

2016 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 69

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-1st, `15-QF, `14-F, `13-Did Not Play, `12-F.

Topspin: Had two lengthy stints on the sidelines last season, including 2+ months off after pulling out of French Open before third round with left wrist injury and another rest at the end of the season. .... In between, reached won the Olympic doubles gold medal. ... Only played four matches after a fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open. ... Kicked off his 2017 season with a win in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, then reached the quarterfinals in Brisbane. ... Aiming for first major title since the 2014 French Open. ... Until last year's shocking 1st-round loss to Fernando Verdasco, had reached the quarterfinals or better at every Australian Open he had contested since 2007.



Seeded: 17

Age: 35

Country: Switzerland

2016 Match Record: 21-7

2016 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 88

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `16-SF, `15-3rd, `14-SF, `13-SF, `12-SF.

Topspin: Returning after a six-month injury layoff. ... His record of 65 consecutive majors ended when he pulled out of last year's French Open. ... Hasn't added to his record 17 Grand Slam singles titles since his win at Wimbledon in 2012. ... Has reached the semifinals or better at 12 of the last 13 Australian Opens, winning the last of his four titles in 2010. ... Had surgery on his left knee last February, leading to the disrupted season. ... Returned at the Hopman Cup in Perth last week. ... Seeded No. 17 and could face Nishikori in 4th round and Murray in quarters.


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