2002 IN REVIEW
The Croatian improved his ranking for second straight year, finishing a personal-best No. 101 (after reaching as high as No. 88 in August)…Reached first ATP SF in Umag and finished with 30-17 record in Challengers including one final, two SF and seven QF…Played first ATP of year in Munich, losing to Meligeni in three sets…Went on 16-5 stretch in Challenger play from mid-May through mid-July that culminated with a SF appearance at ATP stop in Umag…Defeated Massa, Horna and Ljubicic to reach SF before losing to Ferrer in straight sets…Stretch began with QF in Zagreb (l. to Hrbaty) and continued with SF at Furth (l. to Horna), final at Weiden (l. to Horna), QF at Eisenach (l. to Elsner), SF at Ulm (l. to Gross) and QF at Oberstaufen (l. to Eschauer)…Followed Umag performance by reaching 2nd RD in Sopot by defeating Voltchkov in 1st RD before losing to J. Vacek in next match…Reached QF in San Marino Challenger before losing to Portas in straight sets…Returned to ATP circuit in Washington, but lost to Vahaly in three sets…Returned to clay courts in Bucharest, and lost to Giner in 1st RD…Lost 1st RD matches to eventual tournament winners in Palermo (Gonzalez) and Vienna (Federer)…Reached QF in Cairo Challenger (l. to Charpentier) in October and in Bratislava (l. to Dupuis) in November…Earned a career-high $85,090.
1994 -Earned first points after picking up three at Croatia #2 Satellite…1995-Played one Satellite for second year in a row, grabbing two points at Egypt #2 Satellite…1996 -Played four Satellites and one Challenger during year…Reached 2nd RD at Samarkand Challenger (l. to Maggi)…Earned career-best 13 points at Slovenia Satellite…1997-Won the Croatia #2 Satellite and earned 46 ATP points from event… Played first ATP event, losing in 1st RD at Umag to Martelli…Lost to Nydahl at Guayaquil in only Challenger match of year…1998 -Won Futures events at Slovenia F4 and Croatia F6 during year…Reached SF at Croatia F1 and Croatia F5…Began year by picking up 11 ATP points at Italy #1 Satellite…1999-Won two Futures for second consecutive year…Won titles in two straight weeks at Germany F4 and Germany F4B in May…Reached QF in Challengers at Lugano, Tampere and Skopje…Lost Davis Cup match to Andrei Pavel of Romania in straight sets, but Croatia won rubber…Also lost Davis Cup match to Joao Cunha-Silva of Portugal in straight sets in September…2000-Reached SF in Germany F3 and QF at Germany F1…Played qualifying rounds but did not reach main draw in Kitzbuehel and Halle…Did not play after July…2001- Defeated Mazarakis to win Kamnik, Slovenia Challenger…Reached final of Geneva Challenger (l. to van Scheppingen) and SF at Oberstaufen (l. to Gross), Sylt (l. to Navarro), Sofia (l. to Galvani) and Caracas (l. to Knowle)…Also reached SF at Slovenia F1 on Futures circuit in June…In doubles, teamed with Ivan Cinkus to win France F5.
Began playing tennis at age six...Father, Zeljko and mother, Dubravka, both work at a transportation company...Enjoys Formula One racing (favorite team is Ferrari), soccer (favorite team is Real Madrid), listening to music, and reading books...Childhood idol was Pete Sampras...Favorite shot is backhand and favorite surface is clay...Has a 1-2 career Davis Cup record in three ties since 1998...Coached by former Austrian pro Gilbert Schaller (since November 2001), who reached a career-high No. 17 in October 1995.