1998 IN REVIEW
The Romanian No. 3 (behind No. 66 Andrei Pavel, No. 71 Adrian Voinea) ranked near Top 100 for most of season before slipping out in October...Reached a career-high No. 75 after SF effort at Prostejov Challenger (l. to Fromberg)...Advanced to final in Ulm Challenger (l. to El Aynaoui) a month later...In August, reached QF in Graz Challenger...Won title at Brasov Challenger (d. Larsen) after U.S. Open 1st RD loss...In doubles, reached final in Bucharest Tour stop (w/Cosac) and won Graz Challenger title (w/Portas)...Earned a career-high $173,325.
1990-At age 16 and ranked No. 841, posted first career ATP Tour victory over Steve Guy in Kitzbnhel (l. to Vajda in 2nd RD)...1991-Turned in runner-up showing at Geneva Challenger (l. to Gorriz)...1992-Best results came in Satellite play, winning singles and doubles titles at Italy #3 circuit and Romania circuit...Advanced to QF at Hong Kong Challenger...Also a doubles SF at Parioli Challenger and QF at Barcelona Olympics (both w/Cosac)...1993-Reached final at Kosice Challenger (l. to Rikl)...Advanced to first Tour QF in Bucharest (d. Karbacher, l. to Ivanisevic)...In doubles, finalist at Istanbul Challenger (w/MacLagan)...1994-Best result was SF at Mar del Plata Challenger...1995-Jumped over 250 ranking positions...Won first Challenger title in Weiden (d. Burgsmuller) and added another in Beijing (d. Cunha-Silva)...Also won Croatia #1 Satellite (53 points) and SF at Pilzen Challenger...1996-Won title at Brasov Challenger (d. Sabau) and SF at Skopje Challenger...Also QF at Oberstaufen Challenger and Bucharest Tour stop (d. Burillo, Schaller)...Doubles winner at Brasov Challenger (w/Cosac) and reached first Tour final in Santiago (w/Portas)...1997-Finished as No. 1 Romanian with his first Top 100 year-end ranking (No. 82)...Won four Challenger titles (Napoli, Split, Brasov and Edinburgh) and compiled a 28-7 record...Recorded his first Top 10 victory over No. 4 Ivanisevic in 1st RD of U.S. Open.
CAREER DOUBLES TITLES (1). FINALIST (2).
GRAND SLAM RECORD
AUS. OPEN0-21ST 1ST-
FRENCH OPEN1-21ST - 2ND
Played Davis Cup for his native Romania in 1991 and has a 9-10 career record (8-8 in singles) in 11 ties...Represented his country in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics (advanced to doubles QF in 1992)...Enjoys Italian music (Celentano, Rapazzotti), fishing and chess...Has two sisters in family...Coached by Dimitri Haradau, former Romanian Davis Cup player.