2005 IN REVIEW
The Dutch No. 1 won 10 matches on ATP circuit for first time since 2001, reaching QF in two tournaments and making ATP Masters Series debut in Miami... Began season at Australian Open, reaching 2nd RD for first time (l. to J. Johansson)... Followed with QF at Delray Beach, retiring in first set against Moodie with a back injury... Reached a career-high No. 72 on Feb. 7... In March, made Davis Cup debut and helped country to 3-2 victory over Switzerland with victory over Wawrinka in second rubber before retiring against Chiudinelli in dead fifth rubber... Made AMS debut at NASDAQ-100 Open, losing to Verdasco in 1st RD before heading to European clay... Reached QF at Zagreb Challenger before advancing to 2nd RD at Roland Garros on Paris debut (l. to Gasquet)... In Davis Cup QF in July vs. Slovak Republic, defeated Beck in five sets before retiring against Hrbaty in fourth rubber with a rib injury as Slovaks won 4-1... Missed next five weeks before returning at US Open for first time since 2000, reaching 2nd RD (l. to Nalbandian)... Following month, advanced to QF in Beijing, losing to eventual champion Nadal... Finished with QF in Bratislava Challenger... Earned career-high $166,417.
1998 – Compiled a 35-19 record in Challenger play, winning his first title in Lubeck (d.Kohlmann) while reaching finals in Santiago (l. to Prieto) and Portoroz (l. to Schuttler) and SF in three others…In doubles, compiled a 3-3 record in Challenger finals, winning in San Luis Potosi, Prostejov and Edinburgh (all w/Kempes)…1999 – Reached first career ATP SF in Chennai (l. to Schuettler) in April… Advanced to Grand Slam best 3rd RD at US Open where he qualified and beat Zabaleta and Woodforde before losing to Pioline in four sets…2000 – Finished in Top 100 for first time despite injury plagued year and won first ATP title…Missed nearly three months until May due to exhaustion… Biggest week of career came in Newport, winning first title with wins over Bjorkman (QF), Arthurs (SF) and Knippschild in final… Sprained ankle in fifth set of US Open 1st RD against Federer after leading 2-0 in sets… Missed next three months before returning in Aachen Challenger… 2001 – Began year with QF in Chennai (l. to Stoliarov) and qualified for Australian Open (l. 1st RD)…Reached Delray Beach SF (l. to Malisse)… In May, reached Challenger final in Antwerp but retired at 3-5 in first set against D. Norman… Reached QF at Queen’s… Following week, defeated three-time champion Rafter in 1st RD at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Robredo in 2nd RD)… At Wimbledon, lost to Agassi in 1st RD… Reached final at Eckental in November (l. to Popp)… 2002 – Compiled a 5-10 record in Challengers with best result QF at North Miami Beach… 2003 – Made only ATP appearance at Rotterdam and lost in 1st RD… Won title at France #8 (d. Ascione)…Won Challenger title at Reunion Island (d. Hemmes, Jr.) and went 18-11 for season…2004 – The Dutchman moved up nearly 100 positions with a successful year playing in Challenger competition…Had been plagued by injuries previous three years…Compiled a 36-11 record and claimed three titles û Scheveningen (d. Sluiter), Istanbul (d. Bracciali), Helsinki (d. Dlouhy) and reached three other finals û Bolton (l. to Baghdatis), San Remo (l. to Starace) and Bronx (l. to Jeanpierre)…In doubles, reached final in Bolton (w/van Gemerden).
Began playing tennis at age six by hitting hours and hours against the wall of family’s house until his parents took him to a tennis court... Father, Gert, is an industrial project manager; mother, Jenneke, is a housewife; has one younger brother, Roel... As a youth, played soccer, volleyball and basketball... Childhood heroes were Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker... Enjoyed an outstanding junior career, finishing No. 5 in singles and No. 18 in doubles in 1995 world junior rankings... European 18s champion and winner of World Youth Cup... Reached singles SF at Wimbledon and US Open juniors and captured Roland Garros junior doubles title (w/Sluiter) in 1995... Considers serve as best shot and favorite surfaces are carpet and hard... Has superstitions of not stepping on lines between points and using same shower after a match... Has a 2-3 career Davis Cup record in two ties... Coached by Hugo Ekker (since September 2001).