2005 IN REVIEW
The French veteran finished just outside INDESIT ATP Race Top 100 for first time since 2000, going 7-14 on ATP circuit... Season highlights included QF in Memphis and Newport... Went 6-13 on Challenger circuit... Began season by going 0-3 before turning things around in Memphis, where he reached QF with wins over Morrison and Spadea before losing to Mirnyi... In April on clay, upset Olympic champion Massu in 1st RD in Houston (l. to Blake)... After 1st RD loss at Roland Garros to Vliegen, turned to grass and reached SF at Surbiton Challenger... Lost to Berdych in 1st RD at Wimbledon but followed with QF on grass in Newport, defeating Blake and Murray before losing to eventual champion Rusedski... Compiled 5-3 overall record on grass... In August, reached QF in Pamplona Challenger... Went 1-6 rest of season.
1996 – Qualified and won first ATP match in Los Angeles (d. Kulti)… 1997 – Finished fourth at France #6 Satellite (21 ponts)… 1998 – Played well in India, reaching finals at all three Challenger events, winning two… Won back-to-back Challenger titles at Ahmedabad (d. Ogorodov) and Mumbai (d. Boutter)… Also runner-up in Vadodara (l. to Tramacchi)…1999 – Finished in Top 100 for first time… Reached consecutive Challenger finals in Cherbourg (l. to Grosjean) and Grenoble (l. to Boutter)… Advanced to first ATP QF in Los Angeles (d. Bjorkman, l. to Ilie)… In September, reached back-to-back QF in Tashkent and Toulouse…2000 – Won Challenger title in Grenoble in October (d. Siemerink) and finished year with win at Costa Rica Challenger… 2001 – Finished in Top 100 for second time in three years, reaching first ATP final in Munich…Defeated No. 4 seed W. Ferreira, Vinciguerra, Saretta and El Aynaoui before losing to Novak… At Roland Garros, recorded wins over countryman Escude and Haas before losing to Grosjean in 3rd RD in five-set match… 2002 – Compiled16-4 record in Challengers… Advanced to second career ATP SF in Delray Beach (l. to Roddick)… Best clay result was a QF showing in Casablanca…Also reached back-to-back QF in Hong Kong and Tokyo… Finished season by winning Challenger title in Bratislava (d. Beck)… 2003 – Finished in Top 100 for fourth time in five years and won 17 matches on ATP circuit…Began season by reaching QF in Adelaide…On clay, reached QF in St. Poelten…On grass, reached QF at Queen’s, saving six match points in 2nd RD win over Bogdanovic, then defeating Ancic in 3rd RD before losing to Henman…2004 – Finished in Top 100 for fifth time in six years after winning his first ATP title and tying a personal-best 17 match wins…Enjoyed biggest week of his career in Milan where he captured his first career ATP title… Defeated Lopez, Heuberger, Youzhny (saved two M.P.), Carraz and Ancic in third set tie-break… Afterwards, jumped from No. 97 to No. 64 in INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking …On clay, reached QF in Casablanca and on grass advanced to 3rd RD at Queen’s (l. to Srichaphan) along with SF in Newport, losing to eventual champion Rusedski…In doubles, captured first career ATP title in Long Island (w/Llodra)… Earned a career-high $280,555.
Began playing tennis at age nine with his father, Xavier and lone child in family... Father is a commercial salesman, and mother Luce is a housewife... Considers hard and clay courts as favorite surfaces and best shots are forehand and serve... Enjoys traveling and favorite destination is French Polynesian tropical islands of Bora Bora... Hobbies include jet skiing, snorkeling, soccer and Formula One racing... Wife, Virginie (married June 8, 2002)... Coached by Benoit Carelli since February 1998 and credits his mentor with improving his physical and mental play.