2004 IN REVIEW
The German finished in Top 100 in INDESIT ATP Entry Rankings for second consecutive season despite missing almost last three months due to right shoulder injury…Highlight of season came on grass in Newport where he reached first career ATP singles final…Also advanced to 4th RD at Wimbledon for third time in as many appearances…Made slow start to season, with only win in first six matches coming against Haas in Memphis…Returned to Challenger circuit and reached back-to-back SF in Wrexham and Sarajevo…Went 1-4 on clay before turning things around on grass…Advanced to 2nd RD in Halle (d. Pavel, l. to Clement) before arriving at All England Club…Defeated No. 12 Massu, Montanes and Carlsen in straight sets before losing to No. 2 Roddick in 4th RD…Continued good form in Newport, enjoying biggest week of career on ATP circuit by reaching final with wins over Delic, Weiner, top seed Spadea and Saulnier before losing to Rusedski in two tie-breaks…Compiled an 8-4 record on grass…Won just one match in next three tournaments, playing last event of season at US Open (l. to Starace)…Underwent right shoulder surgery on Oct. 13.
1997-His best finish in three Satellites was sixth place at Great Britain #4 circuit (11 points)..1998-Compiled his best results in Futures events, winning Latvia #1 in August...Two months later, won three straight Futures titles at Britain #8, #9 and #10 stops...Closed season with runner-up at USTA #9 Futures...1999-Rose over 150 spots behind Futures and Challenger success...Won Futures titles at Britain #1, France #4 and Germany #7...Won first Challenger title at Oberstaufen (d. F. Costa) adding later at Bronx (d. De Chaunac)...Went 24-9 in Challenger play...2000-Posted biggest moment of career by reaching QF at Wimbledon in first grass tournament after defeating Agenor, Chang (8-6 in fifth set), Kuerten and Rosset (five sets) before losing to Rafter...Defeated Vanek in 1st RD of first US Open before falling to Kafelnikov in four sets...Won Challenger title at Hamburg (d. Fahlke)...2001-Won two Challenger titles at end of season to move back into Top 200...Began year with 1st RD win over Srichaphan at Australian Open before losing in 2nd RD...Advanced to 2nd RD in Indianapolis ...Won Aachen (d. Pretzsch) and Eckental (d. Wessels) Challengers is successive weeks in final two tournaments...Suffered from mononucleosis early in season and missed three months from January to April...2002-Began year where he left off 2001 with a Challenger title...Reached 2nd RD in first ATP event of year by defeating Phau in first match in Munich, but lost to countryman Schuettler...Continued to show improvement on grass court surface with QF in Halle after wins over Sabau and Koubek before losing to countryman Kiefer...Reached another QF in next ATP event in Newport (l. to eventual winner Dent)...Reached 2nd RD at US Open for second time in career with win against Vinciguerra but lost in next round to Sargsian in five sets...Injured his right wrist in that match and did not play rest of season...Underwent surgery on Oct. 9 to repair a torn ligament…2003- Finished in Top 100 for first time since 2000 after impressive Grand Slam play and posting personal-best nine-match wins despite missing first four months of season…After undergoing right wrist surgery in Oct. 2002, returned to action at Rome Challenger in late April (l. to Zovko)…Turned things around on grass, reaching QF at Nottingham (l. to Fish) and in first appearance at Wimbledon since 2000, advanced to QF for second time… Defeated Arazi, Sluiter, Novak and Olivier Rochus before losing to Philippoussis after holding two-set lead against Aussie (lost 8-6 in fifth set)…Dropped four of next five matches before reaching third QF of season in Metz (l. to Santoro) and SF at Helsinki Challenger…Finished year with 6-2 record on grass, 3-4 on hard, 0-2 on clay…Earned a career-high $197,924.
Full name is Alexander Mark Popp...Began playing tennis at age eight at a club in his hometown of Sandhausen...Father, Rainer, is an English and Latin teacher; mother, Jennifer, who comes from a central English town of Wolverhampton, is a secretary in a hospital...Has one older brother, Christopher...Parents moved from England to Germany in 1970 and his son also has a British passport...When he made his QF run at Wimbledon in 2000, British press were asking about his interest of playing Davis Cup for England...Childhood hero was Boris Becker and was inspired by his Wimbledon title run in 1985...Considers service and backhand as best shots and favorite surfaces are hard and clay courts...Coached by Helmut Luthy (since 1994).