Tennis birthdays for the week of December 23-29.
Chilean former No. 1 Marcelo Rios is 37. Rios reached the lofty mark in late March of 1998, unseating Pete Sampras after 102 straight weeks. He was No. 1 for four weeks. He reached one Grand Slam final, the Australian open in 1998.
France's Gilles Simon, currently ranked No. 16 in the world, is 28. Simon has 10 caeer titles and has been as ranked as high as No. 6 in the world. His best Grand Slam performance to date was a quarterfinal appearance at the 2009 Australian Open.
Canada's Milos Raonic, currently ranked No. 13 in the world, is 22. Raonic has won three career titles and has made the fourth round of the Australian Open (2011) and the US Open (2012).
Australian John Fitzgerald, a nine-time Grand Slam doubles champion, is 52. Fitzgerald won a career Grand Slam in men's doubles, with seven overall titles - the Australian Open in 1982, the French Open in 1986 and 1991, Wimbledon in 1989 and 1991 and the US Open in 1984 and 1981. In addition, he won the mixed doubles titles at the US Open in 1983 and Wimbledon in 1991.
American Rick Leach, who won nine Grand Slam doubles titles, turns 48. Leach was ranked No. 1 in the world in men's doubles in 1990, winning 46 overall titles including the Australian Open in 1988, 1989 and 2000; Wimbledon in 1990 and the US Open in 1993. In mixed doubles, he won Wimbledon in 1990, the Australian Open in 1995 and 1997 and the US Open in 1997. He is also the brother-in-law of Lindsay Davenport.
Australian Patrick Rafter, a former No. 1 and two-time US Open champion, is 40. Rafter won 11 titles in his career and first achievedt he No. 1 ranking in July of 1999. In addition to the two US Open wins, he reached the Wimbledon finals twice and the semifinals of both the Australian and French Open. He was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
American James Blake, the former No. 4 player in the world, is 33. Blake is currently ranked No. 110 in the world. Blake is well known for battling shingles and for dedicating much of his time to combatting cancer after losing his father to the disease.
Japan's Kei Nishikori, currently ranked No. 19 in the world, is 23. Nishikori has been ranked as high as No. 15 in the world, has two career titles and had his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2012.