1998 IN REVIEW
Finished as No. 2 Belgian for second consecutive year (behind No. 55 Filip Dewulf)...After a 1-5 start, reached QF in Rotterdam (l. to Johansson)...One month later, reached final on clay at Birmingham Challenger (l. to Ruud)...In May, reached second consecutive SF in Coral Springs (l. to Sanguinetti)...Enjoyed best Grand Slam at French Open, where he earned first career Top 10 win over No. 4 Greg Rusedski in 1st RD en route to 3rd RD (l. to Knippschild in five sets)...Did not win consecutive matches again until November, when he reached QF at Aachen Challenger...Played in Davis Cup QF tie vs. U.S., losing doubles tie (w/Malisse) in five sets...Went 6-8 on clay but winless on hard (0-7).
1993-Made ranking jump of 600 positions with success in Satellites...Winner at Spain #2 circuit (34 points), runner-up at Caribbean #1 (36 points) and third place at Belgium (31 points)...Played in three Challengers and made ATP Tour debut in Antwerp where he beat O'Brien in 1st RD before losing to Ivanisevic...1994-Broke into Top 200 by reaching final at Ostend Challenger (l. to Ruud) and SF at Rennes, Sao Paulo, Eisenach and Pilzen Challengers...1995-Broke into the Top 100 for first time...Won Challenger titles in Mendoza (d. Viloca) in February, Montauban (d. Kowalski) and Ostend (d. Fontang) in July...Finished with a 29-9 record in Challenger play...Made Davis Cup debut in Belgium's 4-1 1st RD loss to Russia and beat Kafelnikov in dead rubber...Qualified at the French Open and beat Delaitre in 1st RD for first Grand Slam win (l. to Voinea)...1996-Won Stockholm Challenger (d. Apell) in March to break back into Top 100 and one week later reached first career ATP Tour SF in Copenhagen, where he beat countryman Dewulf in QF...In late September, beat top seed Mantilla on clay in Palermo en route to second career SF...Was 2-1 in Davis Cup singles, beating Voinea but falling to Pavel in decisive match vs. Romania...1997-Finished a year-end best No. 67 with SF in Coral Springs and QF in Boston...Compiled 19-3 Challenger record, winning titles in Bermuda (d. Sargsian), Birmingham (d. Haas) and Brest (d. Grosjean)...Ranked in Top 100 every week during season...Earned a career-high $190,821.
GRAND SLAM RECORD
FRENCH OPEN3-43RD 1ST1ST2ND
US OPEN1-2 -2ND-1ST
Began playing tennis at age 6...Reached QF at French Open juniors and Astrid Bowl in 1992...Considers forehand and return of serve as best shots...Shaved his head after winning Bermuda Challenger on April 13, 1997...Hobbies include go-cart riding and fan of Lierse soccer team...Has a 7-4 career Davis Cup record (7-3 in singles) in eight ties...Coached by Gabriel Gonzalez, who also works with countryman Filip Dewulf.