1998 IN REVIEW
The Italian compiled consistent Challenger results (22-17), which helped him to a year-end best ranking of No. 125...In February, advanced to final at Lippstadt Challenger (l. to Dier)...His first Tour match win of season came in French Open debut where, after qualifying, he defeated Goran Ivanisevic in 1st RD before losing to Filip Dewulf in 2nd RD...Two weeks later, reached QF in Bologna (l. to Alami)...Added a QF at Venice Challenger in final week of June...Compiled his best results of season in a four-week stretch beginning on Aug. 31 when he reached SF in Alpirsbach, QF in Brasov and Budapest-2 and SF in Seville Challengers...Returned to Tour in Palermo and defeated No. 21 Felix Mantilla in 1st RD (l. to Zabaleta in next round)...Closed year with QF at Buenos Aires Challenger.
1992-Earned his first ATP Tour point in Italy #2 Satellite and then did not pick up another point until January '96...1996-Finished runner-up at Italy #2 Satellite (34 points) and Italy #3 circuit (45 points)...Placed fifth at India Satellite (15 points)...In first Challenger appearance, reached final in Olbia (l. to Camporese)...Went from 328 to No. 242 afterward...Two weeks later played in first ATP Tour stop in Palermo and advanced to SF with victories over No. 18 Berasategui and Burillo before losing to Alami...In doubles, won Italy #3 Satellite (w/Valeri, 49 points)...1997-Advanced to his second career ATP Tour SF in Bologna along with SF at Split Challenger...Made his Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon and reached 2nd RD (d. Karbacher, l. to Radulescu)...At his first U.S. Open, reached 2nd RD (d. Dreekmann, l. to Korda)...Earned a career-high $121,006.
GRAND SLAM RECORD
AUS. OPEN 0-11ST-
FRENCH OPEN 1-12ND-
US OPEN 1-1-2ND
Began playing tennis at age 6 but did not have a coach until he was 11...Stopped playing for one year when he was 15 because he wanted to try motorcross...Enjoys going out with friends and listening to music of George Michael and Lisa Stansfield...Idols growing up were John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl...Favorite surface is hardcourts...A qualified tennis coach in Italy after attending the academy in Rome in 1993-94 to earn his certification (has yet to coach however)...Has worked with the same coach, Piero Cocchella, throughout his career.