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2014 FRENCH OPEN: Capsules on men to watch at the year's 2nd Grand Slam tennis tournament

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

RAFAEL NADAL

Ranked: 1

Age: 27 (turns 28 on June 3)

Country: Spain

2014 Match Record: 34-6

2014 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 63

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

Last 5 French Opens: '13-Won Championship, '12-W, '11-W, '10-W, '09-Lost in 4th Round

Topspin: Career record at French Open is 59-1 with eight titles; only loss came in fourth round in 2009 to Robin Soderling. ... Trying to become only man with nine trophies from one Grand Slam tournament and first with five in a row at Roland Garros. ... Enters with three losses on clay in 2014, the most he's had in a single season since way back in 2004.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Ranked: 2

Age: 27

Country: Serbia

2014 Match Record: 24-3

2014 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 44

Major Titles: 6 — Australian Open ('08, '11, '12, '13), Wimbledon ('11), U.S. Open ('11)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-SF, '12-F, '11-SF, '10-QF, '09-3rd Round

Topspin: Semifinalist five of last seven years. ... Lost to Nadal in 2012 final, 2013 semifinals. ... Needs French Open title to complete career Grand Slam. ... Sidelined for part of clay season with right wrist injury but victory over Nadal in Rome final showed Djokovic is ready. ... Donated and raised more than $1 million for victims of floods that killed at least 45 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.

STAN WAWRINKA

Ranked: 3

Age: 29

Country: Switzerland

2014 Match Record: 21-5

2014 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 7

Major Titles: 1 — Australian Open ('14)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-QF, '12-4th, '11-4th, '10-4th, '09-3rd

Topspin: Won first Grand Slam title in January, after reaching first major semifinal at U.S. Open in September. ... 6-0 record this year against opponents ranked in the top 10. ... Won his first Masters title at Monte Carlo in April on red clay, beating countryman, pal and 2008 Olympic gold medal doubles partner Roger Federer in the final. ... Coached by Magnus Norman, who was working with Soderling when the Swede upset Nadal in Paris.

ROGER FEDERER

Ranked: 4

Age: 32

Country: Switzerland

2014 Match Record: 28-6

2014 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 78

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

Last 5 French Opens: '13-QF, '12-SF, '11-F, '10-QF, '09-W

Topspin: Oldest man seeded in top four at French Open since 33-year-old Andre Agassi was No. 2 in 2003. ... Recently became father of twin boys, Lenny and Leo, who join his 4-year-old twin daughters. ... In first tournament back after sons were born, lost opening match on clay in Rome. ... First time he's been the second-highest-ranked Swiss man at a Grand Slam tournament since the 2000 U.S. Open, when he was behind Marc Rosset. ... Completed career Grand Slam by winning 2009 French Open.

DAVID FERRER

Ranked: 5

Age: 32

Country: Spain

2014 Match Record: 27-10

2014 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 21

Major Titles: Major Titles: 0 — Best: F, at French Open ('13)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-F, '12-SF, '11-4th '10-3rd, '09-3rd

Topspin: After going 0-5 in Grand Slam semifinals, finally made his breakthrough and reached a major title match at Roland Garros a year ago, before losing to Nadal in straight sets. ... Earned his first win against Nadal on clay in a decade by beating him in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters in April. ... Has won a tour-leading 36 per cent of his return games this season.

TOMAS BERDYCH

Ranked: 6

Age: 28

Country: Czech Republic

2014 Match Record: 27-8

2014 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 9

Major Titles: Major Titles: 0 — Best: F, at Wimbledon ('10)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-1st, '12-4th, '11-1st, '10-SF, '09-1st

Topspin: Difficult to know which Berdych will show up at Roland Garros — the guy who looked like a title contender while reaching the 2010 semifinals or the one who lost in the first round three of the past five years. ... When his serve is on, it can be among the best on tour, and he ranks fourth on tour in 2014 by winning 79 per cent of first-serve points.

ANDY MURRAY

Ranked: 8

Age: 27

Country: Britain

2014 Match Record: 21-9

2014 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 28

Major Titles: 2 — Wimbledon ('13), U.S. Open ('12)

Last 5 French Opens: '13-Did Not Play, '12-QF, '11-SF, '10-4th, '09-QF

Topspin: Still looking to find his footing — and a new coach — since splitting with Ivan Lendl in March. ... While his two Grand Slam titles came on fast surfaces — hard courts at the U.S. Open, grass at Wimbledon — Murray has shown he can compete with the best on slow clay, reaching at least the quarterfinals in three of his past four French Open appearances.

___

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

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