2000 IN REVIEW
Italian enjoyed one of his best years on ATP tennis circuit and became oldest player to finish year inside Top 50 at 35 yrs, 6 mos…Began 2000 with a 2nd RD showing at Australian Open (l. M. Norman) and reached final of Wroclaw Challenger in Poland (l. Damm)…After QF showing in Copenhagen, reached 4th RD at Ericsson Open - Miami, defeating Bjorkman, Koubek and Novak before losing to Kuerten…Reached QF in Orlando, Florida (l. Massu) and followed up with second Challenger final appearance of year in Jerusalem (l. Ullyett)…Enjoyed best month of year on grass with SF showing at Surbiton Challenger and Queen's, defeating Siemerink, Agenor, Agassi and Safin before losing to eventual champion Hewitt…Reached QF at Nottingham before producing best Grand Slam showing of career at Wimbledon to reach 4th RD (l. B. Black) and moved to 43rd in ATP Champions Race afterwards…Took eventual US Open champion Safin to five sets in 2nd RD at Flushing Meadows…Finished year with consecutive third set tie-break wins over Kucera and No. 7 seed Enqvist at TMS Paris…Compiled 12-14 record on hard courts, 10-4 on grass.
1986-Reached three Challenger QF in Loipersdorf, Hanko and Budapest...1987-Won the Dublin Challenger and Portuguese Satellite #2...1988-Finalist in Estoril, SF in Cascais and QF at Vienna and Seattle Challengers...1989-Doubles SF at Madeira-1 Challenger...1990-SF at Brasilia and Thessaloniki Challengers...1991-Won his first career Tour singles title in Brisbane and first doubles crown in Newport (w/Steven)...1992-Finalist at Tour stop in Vienna...Doubles finalist in Long Island (w/Rahnasto)...1993-Won the Kuala Lumpur-1 Challenger...1994-Won the Taipei Challenger (d. Kaplan)...1995-Won Cherbourg Challenger...1996-Qualified at U.S. Open, Lyon and Vienna...1997-Won titles in Flushing (d. Ho), Winnetka (d. W. Black) and Andorra (d. Escude) Challengers…1998-Won Surbiton and Tel Aviv Challengers and reached QF at five Tour stops…Defeated No. 2 Rios at Nottingham for best career win…Won lone singles match in Davis Cup debut against U.S...1999-Career-best 3rd RD showing at Australian Open followed by QF appearance at Marseille (l. Rosset)…Best months came in July/August reaching QF at Halle (grass).
Began playing tennis at age 10...Enjoys playing soccer, volleyball and basketball...Reached the SF of Italian Open Juniors...Studied economics at Bari University for two years before going pro full-time...Underwent appendix operation in Miami while playing Lipton in March 1993 and returned to Tour one month later...Underwent surgery Dec. 2, 1996 on right side of upper leg to remove osteoma (a small tumor on the bone)...Has a 2-2 career Davis Cup record in three ties…Won Italian Championships (d. Pescosolido) in 1999…Wife, Cristina (married Nov. 29, 1997).