AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016: Capsules on top men’s players
Serbia's Novak Djokovic makes a backhand return during a practice session on Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Men to watch at the Australian Open, which begins Monday:
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2015 Match Record: 82-6
2015 Singles Titles: 11
Career Singles Titles: 59
Major Titles: 10 – Australian Open ('08, `11, `12, `13, `15), Wimbledon ('11, `14, `15), U.S. Open ('11, `15),
Last 5 Australian Opens: '15-Won Championship, `14-Lost in Quarterfinals, `13-W, `12-W, `11-W
Topspin: Without doubt the dominant man at Melbourne Park with his four titles in five years, and five overall – one more than Roger Federer. …. Won 27 of his 28 matches in Grand Slams last season, winning three majors and finishing runner-up to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open. … Finished No. 1 for the fourth time in five years. … Four of his six losses in 2015 were in finals. … Reached the quarterfinals or better at the last eight Australian Opens, where he won his first major title in 2008. … Has reached six finals in the last seven majors and won four of those. … Had a love-hate relationship with Melbourne Park earlier in his career when he struggled in the intense heat of the southern Australian summer, but a change of diet and renewed emphasis on fitness have helped him cope better with the often sweltering conditions.
2015 Match Record: 71-14
2015 Singles Titles: 4
Career Singles Titles: 35
Major Titles: 2 – U.S. Open ('12), Wimbledon ('13)
Last 5 Australian Opens: '15-Lost in Final, `14-QF, `13-F, `12-SF, `11-F
Topspin: Has reached the final at Melbourne Park four times without winning the title, including last year's loss to long-time friend Djokovic. … Even if he makes the final this year, he's not guaranteed to be playing it. He and wife, Kim Sears, are expecting their first child in February, and Murray has said he won't let tennis stand in the way of him being there for the birth. …. Didn't win a major in 2015 but had a big year otherwise, getting married in April and guiding Britain to its first Davis Cup title in 79 years, going 11-0 (8 singles, 3 doubles) to become only the second player since the existing World Group structure was introduced to win 11 live matches in a Davis Cup season. … Finished 2015 at No. 2 in the rankings, a high for British men since the current ranking system was introduced in 1973.
2015 Match Record: 63-11
2015 Singles Titles: 6
Career Singles Titles: 87
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: '15-3rd Round, `14-SF, `13-SF, `12-SF, `11-SF
Topspin: Appearing in a record 65th consecutive major, an impressive run that started at the Australian Open in 2000 – he played two in '99. … His exit in the third round last year was his worst run at the Australian Open in 14 years, but he recovered to make the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open – losing both finals to Djokovic. … Reached 11 finals in 2015 and won six. … Hasn't added to his record 17 majors since Wimbledon 2012, but recent form suggests he's still a contender at the Grand Slam events despite being a 34-year-old father of four. … Opened the season by reaching the Brisbane International final, playing four matches in four days after lingering flu-like symptoms delayed his start to the tournament. Lost the decider to Milos Raonic in a reverse from 2015.
2015 Match Record: 55-18
2015 Singles Titles: 4
Career Singles Titles: 11
Major Titles: 2 – Australian Open ('14), French Open ('15)
Last 5 Australian Opens: '15-SF, `14-W, `13-4th, `12-3rd, `11-QF
Topspin: Had his career breakthrough at Melbourne Park, winning the Australian Open in 2014 – his 36th Grand Slam event – for his first major title. … Had a major letdown with a first-round exit at the following French Open but has been a fixture in the second week since then, and proved he wasn't a one-Slam wonder by winning the French Open in 2015, beating Djokovic in the final – he was the only man to beat Djokovic at a major in 2015.
2015 Match Record: 61-20
2015 Singles Titles: 3
Career Singles Titles: 67
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: '15-QF, `14-F, `13-Did Not Play, `12-F, `11-QF
Topspin: 2015 was the first season since 2004 that he didn't win a major title, although it was the first since `11 that he participated in all four majors. … The True Blue courts at Melbourne Park are far from his favorite surface, and he's won fewer majors here than anywhere else, not surprising for the best clay courter of all time . ..He won the title here in 2009 and lost to Djokovic in the 2012 decider, the longest – at 5 hours, 53 minutes – and latest-finishing final in Grand Slam history. … Was beaten in straight sets by Djokovic in a warmup tournament in Doha but said the lopsided score line wasn't a setback for his season.
2015 Match Record: 54-16
2015 Singles Titles: 3
Career Singles Titles: 10
Major Titles: 0 – Best: F, U.S. Open ('14)
Last 5 Australian Opens: '15-QF, `14-4th `13-4th, `12-QF, `11-3rd
Topspin: At the 2014 U.S. Open, beat Djokovic in semifinals and became first man born in Asia to reach a Grand Slam singles final. …Reached the quarterfinals at the Australian and French Opens but didn't go further in 2015. … Withdrew before the second round at Wimbledon with a left calf muscle injury … entered the U.S. Open at a career-high No. 4 ranking but lost in the first round. … Hindered by hip, back, abdominal, groin and left leg injuries in last two seasons. … Opened the season seeded No. 2 in Brisbane, but lost his quarterfinal match to Bernard Tomic. … Has had his most consistent Grand Slam results at Melbourne Park.
2015 Match Record: 4-9
2015 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 30
Major Titles: 2 – U.S. Open ('01), Wimbledon ('02)
Last 5 Australian Opens: '15-2nd, `14-1st, `13-1st, `12-4th, `11-1st
Topspin: ''Thanks for the memories, Rusty,'' said the tribute to the Australian veteran who spent his career trying to win the national title. He is planning to retire after his 20th attempt, an unbroken run that started in 1997, the year before he won his first ATP tour title at the age of 16. … Best performance at Melbourne Park was a run to the 2005 final, which he lost to Marat Safin. … Hasn't been past the fourth round at a major since the 2013 U.S. Open, and hasn't reached a semifinal since the U.S. Open in '05.
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