2002 IN REVIEW
The Russian won nine matches and reached an ATP QF for the second straight year…Won first match of year in Chennai by defeating Paes before losing to P. Srichaphan in straight sets…Reached first grass court QF in Nottingham after wins against Labadze and Koubek before losing to eventual champion Bjorkman in straight sets…Played in Australian Open for second consecutive year, but lost to Hass in 1st RD…Reached back-to-back QF in Challenger action in Lubeck (l. to D. Norman) and Wolfsburg (l. to Hernych)…Defeated Ljubicic in 1st RD in Marseille before falling to Ferrero in three sets in next round…Reached 2nd RD in Roland Garros for second year in row with four set victory against Bjorkman, but lost to Hewitt in four sets in 2nd RD…Lost three-set match to Sampras in Halle…After third round appearance in 2001, failed to advance past 1st RD at Wimbledon with five-set loss to H-T. Lee…Fought back from a set down in Sopot to win 1st RD match against Popp before losing to Moya in 2nd RD…Reached final of St. Petersburg Challenger before losing to Roitman in straight sets…Advanced to 2nd RD in Tashkent and St. Petersburg, but lost in next round in each tournament.
1997-Made ATP debut at St. Petersburg, losing in 1st RD to Kroslak...Advanced to QF in second ATP event in Tashkent (l. to Kafelnikov)...1998-Won Futures event at Uzbekistan F4 and reached final at Russia F1 (l. to Mirnyi) as well as Challenger SFs at Gramado, Brasov and Toluca...1999-Reached first Challenger final in Kiev (l. to Benfele Alvarez)...Won Futures at Uzbekistan F1 and reached SF following week in Uzbekistan F2...Advanced to 2nd RD in ATP event in Moscow (d. Canas, l. to Medvedev)...2000-Captured first Challenger title in Wolfsburg (d. Burrieza in F)...Went 5-9 on ATP circuit with QF showing in Tashkent (d. Goldstein, d. Rusedski, l. to Bastl)...2001 - Finished in Top 100 for first time in career…Began season by reaching first ATP final in first tournament of year in Chennai (l. to Tabara)…Made Grand Slam debut at Australian Open, losing in 1st RD to Calatrava…Made Davis Cup debut for Russia and won country's only rubber against M. Norman in 4-1 loss to Sweden…Won Roland Garros debut by defeating Damm in four sets before losing to Montanes in 2nd RD…Reached 3rd RD in first appearance at Wimbledon by defeating W. Ferreira and Pioline before losing to Kiefer in four sets…Reached QF in Amsterdam in July.
Comes from same hometown of Russian No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov...Began playing tennis at age seven and won his first competition six months later, becoming "addicted to tennis"...Wanted to play soccer but was told to wait two or three years, that's why he picked up tennis...Father, Yuri, is general director of a factory; mother, Nadia, is a housewife...Has one older sister, Ira, and one younger brother, Dimitri...Favorite surface is hard courts and considers best shot his forehand...Idol growing up was John McEnroe...Best tennis memory is beating Cedric Pioline in five sets (12-10 in final set) in 2nd RD at 2001 Wimbledon...Enjoys fishing, movies (Castaway) and would like to stay involved in tennis when playing career is over.