2004 IN REVIEW
The Spaniard finished out of Top 100 for just second time in past nine years… Best ATP result at Costa do Sauipe where he reached QF (l. to Horna)…Reached 3rd RD at Roland Garros (l. to Henman)…Won only one ATP match the rest of year, reaching 2nd RD in Palermo…Compiled a 7-15 record in ATP play, including a 6-12 mark on clay…Went 2-9 in Challengers.
1995-Improved nearly 300 ranking positions...Captured first career Challenger title in Tampere (d. Bergstrom) and reached QF in Buenos Aires, his first on ATP...1996-Moved into the Top 100 for the first time...Started the season 16-5 on the Challenger circuit, winning Prague (d. Kuerten) and reaching final in Dresden...Appeared in his first Grand Slam, losing to eventual champion Kafelnikov in 1st RD of Roland Garros...After reaching QF at two Challengers, reached his second ATP QF in Bastad, losing to finalist Medvedev...Also reached finals at Oporto Challenger (l. to Fromberg) and Campinas Challenger (l. to Kuerten)...1997-Advanced to SF in Kitzbuehel (d. No. 4 Corretja) and Marbella and QF at Roland Garros (l. to Rafter)...Jumped from 111 to No. 72 after Roland Garros...1998-Posted best results on favorite clay surface, reaching SF in Munich and Palermo and QF at three other ATP stops...Won 17 of his 20 matches on clay...1999-Won first career ATP title in San Marino defeating countryman Portas in final...Also won Poznan Challenger... 2000-Advanced to SF at Mallorca (l. to Safin) and followed with QF at St. P÷lten...Advanced to QF at Bucharest and SF at Barcelona Challenger...Posted nine of 12 match wins on clay...2001-Finished in Top 60 for first time since 1997...Defeated Lapentti and Ferrero en route to 3rd RD at TMS Monte Carlo...At Roland Garros, beat Sampras and Schuettler while advancing to 4th RD (l. to Grosjean)...Reached SF in Kitzbuehel with victories over Ilie, Vicente, Squillari and Pavel (l. to eventual champion Lapentti)...Compiled a 19-13 record on clay and earned a career-best $307,298…2002- Failed to win 10 matches for first time since 1995...Reached QF in two ATP events after beginning year with losses in eight of first nine tournaments...Reached first QF of year in Gstaad defeating R. Wassen and Mathieu before losing in tight three-set match with Ljubicic...Made second QF appearance of year in Bucharest (l. to Sanchez)…2003- Finished in Top 100 for sixth time in his career and won at least 10 matches for seventh time…Compiled 10-9 mark on ATP circuit and 15-11 record in Challengers…Reached QF in Estoril in first ATP event of season (l. to Robredo)… Also scored QF berth in Sopot (l. to Ramirez Hidalgo)…Reached 2nd RD in back-to-back weeks at Barcelona (l. to Volandri) and Valencia (l. to Gaudio)…Reached 3rd RD at Roland Garros for third time in eight tries, defeating former finalist Corretja and Puerta before retiring with right adductor injury against Saretta…Reached QF in July-August Challenger action at Helsinki and San Marino before breaking out with only Challenger title in Brindisi…Finished clay court season by reaching 2nd RD in Bucharest and Palermo.
Full name is Galo Blanco Diaz...Began playing tennis at age five with his father, who is a doctor of radiology in Barcelona...Spotted at age 14 by Luis Corretja, father of Alex, at a junior tournament and took him into the family home in Barcelona where he was provided both formal and tennis education...Enjoyed an outstanding junior career by reaching SF of Orange Bowl in 1994...Won Spanish Junior Championship (d. Moya) in 1994...Also a finalist at the Sunshine Cup for his country that year...Considers forehand as best shot and clay as favorite surface...Enjoys skiing and at age 12 decided to concentrate on tennis (still goes to Andorra to ski every winter)...An avid supporter of Spanish soccer, fan of club team Oviedo...Coached by Jordi Vilaro.