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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013: Capsules on top men

Saturday - 1/12/2013, 12:02am  ET

By JOHN PYE
AP Sports Writer

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

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC

Seeded: 1

Age: 25

Country: Serbia

2012 Match Record: 75-12

2012 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 34

Major Titles: 5 _ Australian Open ('08, `11, `12), Wimbledon ('11), U.S. Open ('11).

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-Won Championship, `11-W, `10-Lost in Quarterfinals, `09-QF, `08-W

Topspin: Is the two-time defending champion, and has won three of the last five Australian titles _ including the epic 5-hour, 53-minute five-set win over Rafael Nadal last year _ making Melbourne Park his most successful major venue. ... Has been a finalist at six of the past eight Grand Slam tournaments, winning four of those. ... Finished last season off with three late wins to give him six titles from 11 finals. ... Regained the No. 1 ranking in November and finished the year atop the rankings in back-to-back years. ... His 75 wins in 2012 were the second most in his career. ... Had a minor stumble at the Hopman Cup mixed-teams event in Perth, losing to Australia's Bernard Tomic in the group stage.

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ROGER FEDERER

Seeded: 2

Age: 31

Country: Switzerland

2012 Match Record: 71-12

2012 Singles Titles: 6

Career Singles Titles: 76

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-Lost in semifinals; `11-SF, `10-W, `09-F, `08-SF.

Topspin: Playing in 53rd consecutive Grand Slam tournament, longest active streak. ... Reached at least the quarterfinals at a record 34 consecutive majors. ... Holds the record for most weeks at No. 1 (302). ... His win at Wimbledon last year ended a run of 10 majors without a title, giving him his unparalleled 17th Grand Slam title. ... Since winning his first Australian Open in 2004, has never failed to reach the semifinals or better. ... In the years he hasn't won the Australian title since `04, he has lost to the eventual champion all but once.

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ANDY MURRAY

Seeded: 3

Age: 25

Country: Britain

2012 Match Record: 56-16

2012 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 24

Major Titles: 1 _ U.S. Open ('12)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-SF, `11-F `10-F, `09-4th, `08-1st

Topspin: Finally ended the 76-year drought for British men at the majors when he beat Djokovic in five sets in the U.S. Open final. ... Had a breakout season, winning the Olympic gold medal _ beating Federer in the final _ and his first Grand Slam final after losing in the championship match four times, including twice at Melbourne Park. ... Reached back-to-back finals at Melbourne Park in 2010 and `11 and in a bid to improve hired Ivan Lendl before last year's trip to Australia. Lost to eventual champion Djokovic in the semifinals and was then eliminated in the quarterfinals at the French before making the final at Wimbledon, the first British man to reach the final at the All England Club since Bunny Austin in 1938. ... Arrived in Australia in a more relaxed mood than any previous year and successfully defended his title at the Brisbane International.

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DAVID FERRER

Seeded: 4

Age: 30

Country: Spain

2012 Match Record: 76-15

2012 Singles Titles: 7

Career Singles Titles: 18

Major Titles: 0 _ Best: SF, at U.S. Open ('07, `12), at Australian Open ('11), at French Open ('12)

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-QF, `11-SF, `10-2nd, `09-3rd, `08-QF

Topspin: Led the tour with most titles (7) and most match wins (76) and was the only player on tour to win multiple titles on hard and clay courts. ... Was the first 30-something player to lead the ATP tour in titles since Andre Agassi in 2002 ... Just keeps getting better with age, reaching quarterfinals at all four majors for the first time, producing a career-high 11-match winning streak _ twice _ and guiding Spain to its fourth Davis Cup final in five years. ... With Rafael Nadal out injured, is the leading Spaniard in the draw.

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THOMAS BERDYCH

Seeded: 5

Age: 27

Country: Czech Republic

2012 Match Record: 61-23

2012 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 8

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

Last 5 Australian Opens: `12-QF, `11-QF, `10-2nd, `09-4th, `08-4th.

Topspin: First Czech player with three straight top-10 seasons since Lendl had 13 in a row from 1980 to 1992. Since Berdych's loss to Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon final, his best Grand Slam results have been two quarterfinal appearances at Melbourne Park and the semifinals at last year's U.S. Open, where he defeated Federer in the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Murray in the penultimate round. ... His 2012 highlight was leading the Czech Republic to its first Davis Cup title since 1980, going 6-1 in singles.

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