2001 IN REVIEW
The Spaniard finished in Top 100 for second time in three years after career-best performances in TMS events and Grand Slams...Also won one Challenger title...Began season slowly, failing to go beyond 2nd RD in first six ATP and Challenger events...Qualified for Ericsson Open and reached 2nd RD (l. to Hewitt)...In May, advanced to first ever TMS QF in Rome after qualifying...Defeated Puerta, No. 6 seed Kafelnikov in 2nd RD and Luzzi in 3rd RD before losing to Lapentti...Following week, won third career Challenger title at Zagreb (d. Montanes in F)...Qualified at Roland Garros and reached 3rd RD for first time (d. Youzhny, d. Gonzalez, l. to Ferrero in four sets)...In June, reached SF at Braunschweig Challenger on clay before making Wimbledon debut (l. to Malisse in 1st RD)...Struggled rest of season, reaching QF at Segovia Challenger before going 2-5 through October...Compiled 7-7 record on clay courts, 2-6 on hard...Earned a career-high $184,284.
1994-Played in four Satellites, all in his native country, and finished fourth in Spain #7 circuit (22 points) and seventh at Spain #3 circuit (13 points)...Qualified for his first ATP Tour event in Athens (l. to Gross)...1995-Continued success in Satellites, winning the Chile circuit (52 points)...Played in only Challenger in Barcelona (l. to Imaz in 1st RD)...1996-Improved more than 200 ranking positions with runner-up at Spain #1 Satellite (44 points) and Tampere Challenger (l. to Savolt)...Qualified for his first Grand Slam event at French Open, losing to No. 5 Agassi in four sets in 1st RD...Following month, won his first ATP Tour match (d. Perez-Roldan) in Bologna (l. to C. Costa in 2nd RD)...Also SF at Prague, Geneva and Budapest-2 Challengers...1997-Reached his first ATP Tour QF in Bournemouth highlighted by a win over French No. 1 Pioline...Also advanced to RD 16 in Hamburg with victories over No. 17 Rosset and Haarhuis before losing to eventual champion Medvedev...In his first season on Tour, went 6-8 (all on clay)...Compiled a 21-14 record in Challengers, advancing to QF or better in eight, including SF in Edinburgh, Seville and Barcelona...1998-Reached second career Tour QF in Prague and advanced to Challenger SF in Ho Chi Minh and Espinho...Also reached Challenger QF at Kosice, Poznan and Cairo...Broke Top 100 for first time in May...1999-Compiled most Challenger victories (36) during year, winning title in Barletta (d. Canas) and reached finals at Nice (l. to Gaudio) and Sevilla (l. to Prieto)...2000-Played mainly on Challenger circuit throughout year, all on clay...Captured second career Challenger title in Kiev (d. Peppas), reached final in Venice (l. to Calleri) and advanced to SF in Sevilla and Cairo.
Began playing tennis at age six...Father, Felix, is an administrador; mother, Maria del Carmen, is a house wife...Has two older sisters, Carmen and Monica, who play tennis as a hobby...His best result in juniors came at Roland Garros in 1994 when he defeated Giorgio Galimberti of Italy to capture title... Finished No. 10 in junior world rankings that year ...Received the gold and diamonds pin (7 stars award) after his succesful junior year (goes to 7 best sportsmen in region of Madrid) ...Hobbies include soccer (favorite team is Real Madrid), reading and going out with friends in his hometown of Madrid... Favorite musical groups are Mecano, U2 and Depeche Mode... Considers backhand his best shot and clay his favorite surface...Coached by Ricardo "Richi" Sanchez since 2000 Roland Garros.