- Associated Press
Thursday, January 16, 2020

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Men to watch at the Australian Open, where play begins Monday:

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RAFAEL NADAL

Seeded: 1

Country: Spain

Age: 33

2019 Match Record: 58-7

2019 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 84

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 19 - 1 at Australian Open (2009), 12 at French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019), 2 at Wimbledon (2008, 2010), 4 at U.S. Open (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-Runner-up, 2018-Lost in QF, 2017-RU, 2016-1st, 2015-QF

Australian Open Career Record: 61-13

Aces: Oldest man to finish a year ranked No. 1. … Can become only the third man in tennis history with at least two titles at each Grand Slam tournament (Rod Laver, Roy Emerson).

Topspin: No reason to believe he couldn’t win in Australia to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles.

Matchup to Watch For: Nick Kyrgios in the 4th Round

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Seeded: 2

Country: Serbia

Age: 32

2019 Match Record: 57-11

2019 Singles Titles: 5

Career Singles Titles: 77

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 16 - 7 at Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019), 1 at French Open (2016), 5 at Wimbledon (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019), 3 at U.S. Open (2011, 2015, 2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-Won Championship, 2018-4th, 2017-2nd, 2016-W, 2015-W

Australian Open Career Record: 68-8

Aces: First-round win would make him 6th man in Open era with 900 career victories (he is 899-187, a winning percentage of .828 ). … Has won two majors in four of the past five seasons.

Topspin: His flawless final against Nadal a year ago — and his seven titles in all at Melbourne Park — mean he has to be considered the favorite.

Matchup to Watch For: Jan Lennard-Struff in the 1st Round

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ROGER FEDERER

Seeded: 3

Country: Switzerland

Age: 38

2019 Match Record: 53-10

2019 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 103

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 20 - 6 at Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018), 1 at French Open (2009), 8 at Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017), 5 at U.S. Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-4th, 2018-W, 2017-W, 2016-SF, 2015-3rd

Australian Open Career Record: 97-14

Aces: 21st Australian Open appearance breaks Lleyton Hewitt’s record for most by a man. … Also holds record for most tournament match wins.

Topspin: Acknowledged in recent interview with AP that he figures both Nadal and Djokovic will overtake his Grand Slam title mark.

Matchup to Watch For: Denis Shapovalov or Grigor Dimitrov in the 4th Round

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DANIIL MEDVEDEV

Seeded: 4

Country: Russia

Age: 23

2019 Match Record: 59-21

2019 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 7

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 - Best: RU, U.S. Open (2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-4th, 2018-2nd, 2017-1st, 2016-Did Not Play, 2015-DNP

Australian Open Career Record: 4-3

Aces: Fifth consecutive major tournament in which his seeding has risen. … Led the ATP in match wins and with nine finals reached last season.

Topspin: Has been superb on hard courts lately and appears to be on the verge of a major title.

Matchup to Watch For: Frances Tiafoe in the 1st Round

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DOMINIC THIEM

Seeded: 5

Country: Austria

Age: 26

2019 Match Record: 49-19

2019 Singles Titles: 5

Career Singles Titles: 16

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 - Best: RU, French Open (2018, 2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-2nd, 2018-4th, 2017-4th, 2016-3rd, 2015-1st

Australian Open Career Record: 10-6

Aces: Only three career titles have come on hard courts; 10 on clay. … Never reached a quarterfinal at Australian Open or Wimbledon.

Topspin: Might be time for him to assert himself on hard courts with a deep run at Melbourne Park.

Matchup to Watch For: Felix Auger-Aliassime in the 4th Round

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STEFANOS TSISIPAS

Seeded: 6

Country: Greece

Age: 21

2019 Match Record: 54-25

2019 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 4

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 - Best: SF, Australian Open (2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-SF, 2018-1st, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Australian Open Career Record: 5-2

Aces: Best run at a major came a year ago in Australia, where he beat Federer in the 4th Round en route to a semifinal loss to Nadal.

Topspin: If he can stay focused and channel all of his tremendous talent, could become the youngest Australian Open men’s champ since Djokovic was 20 in 2008.

Matchup to Watch For: Milos Raonic in the 3rd Round

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MATTEO BERRETTINI

Seeded: 8

Country: Italy

Age: 23

2019 Match Record: 43-25

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 3

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 - Best: SF, U.S. Open (2019)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-1st, 2018-1st, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP

Australian Open Career Record: 0-2

Aces: Made quite a career progression at the majors in 2019, going from a first-round exit in Australia, to second round at French Open, fourth round at Wimbledon, semifinal at U.S. Open.

Topspin: With his booming forehand, would be surprising if he doesn’t at least pick up his first main-draw singles win at Melbourne Park — if not much more.

Matchup to Watch For: Borna Coric or Sam Querrey in the 3rd Round

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NICK KYRGIOS

Seeded: 23

Country: Australia

Age: 24

2019 Match Record: 23-15

2019 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 6

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 - Best: QF, Australian Open (‘15), Wimbledon (‘14)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2019-1st, 2018-4th, 2017-2nd, 2016-3rd, 2015-QF

Australian Open Career Record: 11-6

Aces: No Australian man has won the country’s Grand Slam tournament since Mark Edmondson in 1976. … Hasn’t reached a major quarterfinal in five years.

Topspin: There’s always something going on with Kyrgios - he is currently on ATP probation - but he’s as talented and charismatic a player as there is in the sport.

Matchup to Watch For: Karen Khachanov in the 3rd Round

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

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More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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