Men to watch at the U.S. Open, which begins Monday:

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Seeded: 1

Age: 29

Country: Serbia

2016 Match Record: 51-5

2016 Singles Titles: 7

Career Singles Titles: 66

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

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-Won Championship, ’14-Lost in Semifinals, ’13-Lost in Final, ’12-F, ’11-W

Topspin: Reached the semifinals or better each of the last nine years at Flushing Meadows. Five of the past six, made it to the final, including a second U.S. Open title a year ago. … Trying to collect three Grand Slam titles in a single season for the third time (2011, 2015). … Lost in third round at Wimbledon, then first round of Rio Olympics, then pulled out of Cincinnati Masters, citing a sore left wrist.


ANDY MURRAY

Seeded: 2

Age: 29

Country: Britain

2016 Match Record: 50-7

2016 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 39

Major Titles: 3 — U.S. Open (’12), Wimbledon (’13, ’16)

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-4th, ’14-QF, ’13-QF, ’12-W, ’11-SF

Topspin: Putting together best season of his career, winning Wimbledon and Rio Olympics title (first player with two singles gold medals, let alone two in a row), plus reaching French Open final before losing to Novak Djokovic. … Will be expected to reverse recent U.S. Open downward trend after collecting first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2012. … His service return and defense are as good as anyone’s (with the possible exception of Djokovic). … Reunited before Wimbledon with coach Ivan Lendl.


RAFAEL NADAL

Seeded: 4

Age: 30

Country: Spain

2016 Match Record: 34-11

2016 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 69

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

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-3rd, ’14-Did Not Play, ’13-W, ’12-DNP, ’11-F

Topspin: Sidelined for 2½ months after pulling out of French Open before third round with left wrist injury, but looked good upon return at Rio Olympics, reaching the semifinals in singles and earning a gold medal in doubles with Marc Lopez. … Seemed to run out of energy at Cincinnati Masters, so biggest question will be what sort of match shape he’s in when he gets to New York.


MARIN CILIC

Seeded: 7

Age: 27

Country: Croatia

2016 Match Record: 32-17

2016 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 15

Major Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (’14)

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-SF, ’14-W, ’13-DNP, ’12-QF, ’11-3rd

Topspin: Two of his three career Grand Slam semifinal appearances came at Flushing Meadows in 2014 and 2015. … Coming off a victory over Andy Murray in the final of the Cincinnati Masters hard-court tournament. … At 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), equipped with a big serve and flat groundstrokes that translate well on hard courts.


STEVE JOHNSON

Seeded: 19

Age: 26

Country: United States

2016 Match Record: 26-21

2016 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 1

Major Titles: 0 — Best: 4th Round, Wimbledon (’16)

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-1st, ’14-1st, ’13-1st, ’12-3rd, ’11-1st

Topspin: Ranked 21st, he’s the top American man, one spot ahead of John Isner. … Earned a bronze in doubles with Jack Sock at Rio Olympics; reached quarterfinals in singles. … Only 2-5 career record at U.S. Open, only once advancing past first round. … Won two NCAA individual titles and four team titles in college at Southern California, winning his final 72 singles matches.


JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO

Unseeded; Ranked 142nd

Age: 27

Country: Argentina

2016 Match Record: 18-9

2016 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 18

Major Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (’09)

Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’15-DNP, ’14-DNP, ’13-2nd, ’12-QF, ’11-3rd

Topspin: Silver medal at Rio Olympics, including victories over Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, marked return to elite level after three operations on left wrist. … Since winning the 2009 U.S. Open, has missed the tournament three of the past six years because of injuries. … Backhand still a weak point, but his thunderous flat forehand is as good as it gets.


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