Roger Federer wasn't the only male tennis player to win three of the four majors last year. Gael Monfils (right) claimed the 2004 Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon boys' titles, and were it not for a sore knee at the U.S. Open, he might well have become the first player since Stefan Edberg in 1983 to pull off the junior Grand Slam. An exceptionally talented, exceptionally raw 18-year-old, Monfils has made a successful transition to the pro game. Since joining the ATP last fall, he's beaten a passel of big-time players, including French Open champ Gast�n Gaudio. Monfils reached the fourth round at the NASDAQ last week, which will put him in the top 100--and freight him with even greater expectations.
A gangly (6'3", 165 pounds), athletic, dark-skinned Parisian, Monfils draws inevitable comparisons with Yannick Noah. But he says he is partial to Andre Agassi's style of play. Monfils's game is the au courant mix of a booming serve, a weapons-grade forehand and a propensity to head netward only to shake his opponents' hands after matches--the vast majority of which he should win.