2005 IN REVIEW
This Romanian posted his best career ATP season by finishing a year-end best No. 104... Began year focusing on Challengers... Reached QF at three of first six events... In May, claimed Challenger title in Budapest (d. Scherrer)... Claimed second title of the year in Kosice (d. Chadaj)... In July, reached second career ATP SF with wins over Lammer, Sargsian and Starace in Gstaad (l. to Wawrinka)... That result pushed him into Top 100 for first time in his career and he reached a career-high ranking of No. 74 on Sept. 26... Two weeks later reached 2nd RD in Stuttgart (d. Berlocq, l. to Novak)... Also reached Sopot 2nd RD (d. Hernandez, l. to Andreev)... Made US Open debut, losing to Agassi in opening round in night session on Ashe... Late in the year he reached the Bratislava Challenger SF (l. to Hrbaty)... Compiled 32-20 Challenger record... In doubles, advanced to US Open 2nd RD (w/Hanescu)... Reached QF at ATP events in Palermo (w/Skoch) and Moscow (w/Fyrstenberg)... Reached Rome Challenger final (w/Ionita)... .Earned a career high $150,093.
1991 – Earned first career points as a 14-year-old playing Bucharest Challenger…1993 – Made ATP in Bucharest…Made Davis Cup debut against Morocco, losing to El Aynaoui but befeating Ridaoui in dead rubber…1994 – Reached 2nd RD at Palermo…Lost pair of Davis Cup matches against South Africa (l. to Ferreira, Ondruska)…Later in year, won pair of Davis Cup matches against Great Britain, defeating Bates in second rubber and Petchey in decisive fifth rubber…Played first ATP doubles event in Bucharest, reaching SF (w/Pavel)… 1995 – Reached 2nd RD in Santiago (d. Moya, l. to Costa)…1996 – Reached first Challenger final at Brasov (l. to Pescarlu)…One week later, won first Challenger at Budapest (d. Savolt)…Compiled 18-11 Challenger record…1997 – Reached 2nd RD at Doha and Tokyo while going 2-5 in ATP events…Finalist at Curitiba Challenger (l. to Kuerten)…1998 – Reached SF at five Challengers, compiling a 20-17 record…1999 – Made Grand Slam debut as qualifier at Roland Garros (l. to Boetsch)…Reached two Challenger SFs while posting 12-17 record…2000 – Reached 2nd RD at Orlando…Was 1-5 in ATP matches…Reached three Challenger SFs…Had 23-22 record in Challengers…In doubles, reached 2nd RD at ATP event in Bucharest (w/Noszaly)…2001 – Missed most of the season after an elbow operation in May…Was 3-2 in Challengers before the surgery…2002 – Made only ATP appearance of the year as qualifier in Halle (l. to Popp)…Reached Reunion Island Challenger final (l. to Browne)…Went 6-8 in Challengers…Won Bucharest Futures event and reached final at Guadalajara Futures…Compiled 14-4 Futures record…2003 – Played just one ATP event, reaching first career SF as wild card in Bucharest (d. Ramirez Hidalgo, A. Martin and Sargsian, l. to Massu)…Won two Futures titles in five finals appearances…Reached SFs at three Challengers…Compiled records of 25-7 in Futures and 14-13 in Challengers…Reached doubles SF at three Challengers…2004 – Won only title of the year at the Homestead Challenger (d. Moodie)…Finalist at Challengers in Quito (l. to G. Lapentti) and Puebla (l. to Gallardo Valles)…Was 25-25 in Challengers…Reached doubles final at Gernoble (w/Berrer)…Was 12-12 in Challenger doubles.
Started playing tennis at age eight... Also played soccer until he was 11... Likes motorsports (go-karting and bought a new motorbike, a Ducati Monster, in 2005) and skiing (France, Italy and Brasov in Romania)... Likes to play on hard and clay courts and considers the backhand his best shot... Finished as No. 2 junior in world in 1993 and best Grand Slam result was title at Wimbledon juniors (d. Szymanski) that year... Best tennis moment was beating Giovanni Lapentti in five sets in the deciding rubber as Romania beat Ecuador in Davis Cup in 2003 to stay in World Group... Has an 8-10 career Davis Cup record (8-9 in singles) in 10 ties...Has no coach and trains at the BTT club in Bucharest.