1998 IN REVIEW
The Brazilian finished in Top 150 ATP Tour Rankings for first time in his career...Opened season in February on Asian Challenger circuit with QF in Singapore, 2nd RD in Ho Chi Minh and QF in Bangkok...In April, during three-week U.S. claycourt circuit, reached QF at Birmingham Challenger and in Orlando Tour stop (first of career) and 2nd RD in Atlanta (d. No. 39 Courier)...Did not win back-to-back matches again until August when he reached QF in Sopot and Geneva Challengers...Following month, advanced to second career final in his hometown of Florianopolis (l. to Canas)...In October, reached QF in Sao Paulo and SF in Montevideo Challengers...Played his last Tour event in Santiago, taking No. 2 Rios to three sets in 1st RD...In doubles, won first Challenger title in Ulm (w/Oncins) and runner-up in Poznan (w/Brandi)...Advanced to first Tour SF in Umag (w/Brandi)...Earned a career-high $79,466.
1994-Won Brazil #1 Satellite (47 points)...Advanced to QF at Campos do Jordao Challenger...Also reached 2nd RD in three other Challengers...In doubles, finished fifth at Portugal #1 Satellite (28 points, w/M. Barbosa)...1995-Reached QF at Sao Paulo Challenger...Qualified for his first ATP Tour event in Bermuda in April, defeating Mark Merklein in 1st RD (l. to Braasch in 2nd)...In doubles, reached first Challenger final in Mendoza (w/Kuerten)...Missed eight months of action due to tendinitis in right shoulder...1996-Winner at Peru/Bolivia Satellite (46 points) and eighth at Brazil #3 Satellite (14 points)...Repeated QF effort at Sao Paulo Challenger...In doubles, winner at Brazil #5 Satellite (44 points, w/Schlachter) and runner-up at Brazil #1 circuit (39 points, w/F. Costa) and Venezuela/Ecuador circuit (40 points, w/Schlachter)...1997-In singles, won Brazil #1 (50 points) and Brazil #5 (48 points) Satellites...Advanced to his first career SF at Graz Challenger...Two weeks later, reached his first final in Santa Cruz (l. to Canas)...In doubles, advanced to final in Sao Paulo (w/F. Costa).
Began playing tennis at age eight with his parents...Enjoyed an outstanding junior career, finishing No. 15 in singles and No. 6 in doubles in 1993 world junior rankings...Won junior titles in Frankfurt and Asuncion...In doubles, reached SF of French Open Juniors (w/Rios)...Named practice partner for his country's Davis Cup team in 1995...Considers clay as favorite surface...Coached by Brazilian Davis Cup captain Ricardo Acioly.