2007 IN REVIEW
The Argentine returned from a knee injury in 2006 to reach his eighth career ATP final and compile a 15-5 mark in Challenger play with two titles...Opened season with title at La Serena Challenger (d. Brzezicki) and following month advanced to final at Florianopolis Challenger (l. to Hernandez)...In April, qualified and reached first ATP final on U.S. soil in Houston, defeating No. 9 Blake in SF before losing to Karlovic...Following week, captured title at Bermuda Challenger (d. Dancevic)...In two weeks, climbed from No. 156 to No. 88 on Apr. 23...Did not win back-to-back matches rest of season...Compiled a 9-9 mark on clay.
1995 – Reached first ATP QF in Prague (as qualifier)… 1996 – Improved ranking for third consecutive season in his rookie campaign as a pro… Reached SF in Bermuda (as qualifier) and QF in Bournemouth on ATP… In Challenger play, compiled 20-11 record and won title in Birmingham (d. Behrens), reached SF in Zagreb and Kosice and QF in three other events… 1997 – Best results came in Challenger play (12-14 record), with runner-up in Guayaquil (l. to Nydahl)… 1998 – Captured first ATP title in Bogota (d. Delgado)… 1999 – Finished year as No. 1 Argentine for first time in his career after reaching three ATP finals at AMS Hamburg, St. Poelten and Amsterdam… 2000 – Opened season by reaching 3rd RD at Australian Open (l. to Agassi)… Followed with a QF appearance in London (d. Henman) during European indoor circuit… Reached 3rd RD at TMS events in Indian Wells and Miami… Advanced to QF at AMS Hamburg (d. Gaudio, Hewitt, Henman)… Represented country in Olympics, reaching 3rd RD… 2001 – Advanced to SF in Vina del Mar (l. to Coria) and reached QF in Casablanca… Played well on hard courts, advancing to first career Grand Slam QF at US Open (d. Grosjean, Dent, Rusedski, Malisse, l. to Safin)… Became first Argentine to reach Open QF since Vilas advanced to SF in 1982… Followed with QF in Palermo..Had a 9-7 mark on hard courts and 9-10 on clay… 2002 – Finished in Top 50 for first time in three years, reaching SF in Mallorca and Kitzbuehel and QF in Buenos Aires and Acapulco… Also turned in a career-best 4th RD showing at Roland Garros… 2003 – Reached final in Acapulco (d. Kuerten, l. to Calleri) and followed with SF in Scottsdale (l. to Philippoussis)… At Roland Garros, reached 4th RD for second year in a row, losing to countryman Coria in five sets in 4:42… In July, won title in Bastad (d. Moya in SF, Lapentti in F) and followed with SF in Kitzbuehel (d. Ferrero, l. to Massu)…2004 – Finished in Top 65 for seventh straight year and enjoyed success on his favorite clay court surface by reaching QF or better in five tournaments… In July, repeated his title in Bastad, defeating countryman Gaudio in a third-set tie-break… His other best results included a SF run at ATP Masters Series Rome (d. No. 7 Henman, No. 11 Massu, l. to Moya) and QF in Vina del Mar, Buenos Aires and Kitzbuhel… Compiled a 23-13 record on clay and 2-7 on hard…2005 – Won at least 20 matches for fourth consecutive year... In February, reached QF in Vina del Mar (l. to Gonzalez) and Costa do Sauipe (l. to Martin)... Reached 3rd RD at AMS Miami (l. to eventual champion Federer) and 3rd RD in Monte-Carlo but was forced to retire against Ferrer after winning first set with foot injury... Missed next eight weeks... Made ATP return as two-time defending champion in Bastad, where he reached QF (l. to Berdych)... Followed with QF in Stuttgart and first SF appearance of season in Kitzbuehel, losing to Gaudio on both occasions... Lost next five matches... Underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery on Oct. 1...2006 -- A left knee injury kept this Argentine out for nearly five months and outside the year-end Top 100 for the first time since 1997...After Oct. 1, 2005 knee surgery, played only Australian Open (l. to Wang) before returning in May...Went 1-2 in Challengers before reaching Reggio Emilia Challenger QF (l. to Roitman)...Returned to ATP action at Bastad but retired against Massu with groin injury...Reached 3rd RD at Stuttgart (d. Waske, Gaudio, l. to Horna)...Finalist at Guayaquil Challenger in November (l. to Roitman)...2007--The Argentine returned from a knee injury in 2006 to reach his eighth ATP final and compile a 15-5 mark in Challenger play with two titles...Opened season with title at La Serena Challenger (d. Brzezicki) and following month advanced to final at Florianopolis Challenger (l. to Hernandez)...In April, qualified and reached first ATP final on U.S. soil in Houston, defeating No. 9 Blake in SF before losing to Karlovic...Following week, captured title at Bermuda Challenger (d. Dancevic)...In two weeks, climbed from No. 156 to No. 88 on Apr. 23...Did not win back-to-back matches rest of season...Compiled a 9-9 mark on clay.
Won Roland Garros juniors title (d. countryman Puerta) and finished No. 1 in 1995...First Argentine to win title since Guillermo Perez-Roldan in 1986-87...His father was a well-known rugby player in Argentina...A big fan of soccer great Diego Maradona and considers Argentina’s World Cup win in 1986 as one of his favorite sports memories...Admired Mats Wilander while growing up...Has a 1-4 career Davis Cup record in four ties since 1999...Coached by countryman Guillermo Perez-Roldan and fitness trainer is Juan Menchon.