PARIS — Men to watch at the French Open, where play begins Sunday:
2013 Match Record: 28-4
2013 Singles Titles: 3
Career Singles Titles: 37
Major Titles: 6 – Australian Open ('08, `11, `12, `13), Wimbledon ('11), U.S. Open ('11)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-Lost in Final, `11-SF, `10-QF, `09-3rd Round, `08-SF
Topspin: Trying to become the eighth man with a career Grand Slam; calls the French Open the most important tournament of the year for him. ... A year ago, came to Paris with three consecutive major titles, seeking to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four in a row, and made debut in final before losing to Rafael Nadal. ... Reached at least the semifinals in four of the past six years at Roland Garros.
2013 Match Record: 18-6
2013 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 76
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: `12-SF, `11-F, `10-QF, `09-Won Championship, `08-F
Topspin: Heads to Roland Garros without a title in 2013; the last time he hadn't won at least one tournament before the start of the French Open was 2000. That was also the last time he hadn't played in at least two finals by this stage of the season. ... By winning the 2009 French Open, completed a career Grand Slam and tied Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles – a mark Federer eclipsed a month later at Wimbledon. ... Enters his 54th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, two shy of the record set by Wayne Ferreira from 1991-2004.
Age: 26 (turns 27 on June 3)
2013 Match Record: 36-2
2013 Singles Titles: 6
Career Singles Titles: 56
Major Titles: 11 – French Open ('05, `06, `07, `08, `10, `11, `12), Wimbledon ('08, `10), U.S. Open ('10), Australian Open ('09)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-W, `11-W, `10-W, `09-4th, `08-W
Topspin: Career record at French Open is 52-1; only loss came in fourth round in 2009 to Robin Soderling, who is not in the field this year. ... That's also Nadal's only loss in 76 career best-of-five-set matches on clay. ... Set record last year with seventh French Open championship, breaking tie with Bjorn Borg. ... Reached the finals of all eight tournaments he's played since returning from a knee injury, taking six titles, but lost to Djokovic on clay at Monte Carlo.
2013 Match Record: 31-9
2013 Singles Titles: 2
Career Singles Titles: 20
Major Titles: Major Titles: 0 – Best: SF, at French Open ('12), U.S. Open ('07, `12), Australian Open ('11, `13)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-SF, `11-4th `10-3rd, `09-3rd, `08-QF
Topspin: Five times a Grand Slam semifinalist, still looking to break through and get to his first major final. ... Withdrawals by past major champions Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro lighten the field a bit and could help his cause. ... Leads tour by winning 36 percent of points when returning first serves; ranks second, behind only Nadal, with 37 percent of return games won.
Country: Czech Republic
2013 Match Record: 29-10
2013 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 8
Major Titles: Major Titles: 0 – Best: F, at Wimbledon ('10)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-4th, `11-1st, `10-SF, `09-1st, `08-2nd
Topspin: As inconsistent as can be at Roland Garros, he looked like a title contender en route to the semifinals three years ago, but then bowed out in the first round in 2011 by wasting a two-set lead against a French qualifier ranked 140th. ... Tough to ignore him, though, considering the powerful strokes that helped him reach semifinals on red clay this month at Rome and Madrid, where he beat Djokovic.
2013 Match Record: 21-8
2013 Singles Titles: 1
Career Singles Titles: 10
Major Titles: 0 – Best: F, at Australian Open ('08)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-QF, `11-3rd, `10-4th, `09-4th, `08-Did Not Play
Topspin: Held four match points against Djokovic in the French Open quarterfinals last year but failed to convert any in a five-set loss. Afterward, Tsonga said: "You want to break your racket. You want to shout. You want to cry. You want to laugh and say, `Oh, come on. That's a joke. How could I lose this match?'" ... Sure to get plenty of home-crowd support from fans who have not seen a French male champion in Paris since Yannick Noah in 1983.
2013 Match Record: 19-8
2013 Singles Titles: 1
Career Singles Titles: 3
Major Titles: 0 – Best: QF, at Australian Open ('12)
Last 5 French Opens: `12-DNP `11-2nd, `10-2nd, `09-DNP, `08-DNP
Topspin: Beat Federer on red clay at Madrid this month, his fourth victory over an opponent ranked in the top five. ... Fan of playing on clay, won 2006 French Open junior doubles title. ... Missed French Open a year ago with an abdominal injury. ... Has won 32 percent of return games this season, fifth-best on tour, behind only Nadal, Ferrer, Djokovic and Murray.