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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 17:54 GMT
8 David Nalbandian
David Nalbandian
Born: 1/1/82
Nationality: Argentine
Seeded: 8
World ranking: 8
Australian Open best:
Quarter-final (2003)
Recent record:
2003: Quarter-final
2002: 2nd round
2001: N/A
Nalbandian spent much of last year in the world's top 10 although he surprisingly failed to win a title.

The Argentine burst onto the scene by reaching the 2002 Wimbledon final and has confounded the sceptics by becoming one of the leading players on the tour.

Nalbandian is a heavy hitter from the baseline but, unlike most of his compatriots, does not count clay as his favourite surface, with the French Open his poorest Grand Slam result of the year.

He relishes hardcourt tennis and his solid form in North America last summer was capped with a semi-final appearance at the US Open.

But there he let slip a match-point and a two-set lead against eventual champion Andy Roddick.

He also reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and the last 16 at Wimbledon, showing that he knows how to do well at the big events.

And if his confidence was dented by the Roddick defeat, it did not show as he beat the American in straight sets to reach the final in Basle in October.

A wrist problem, which also afflicted him at the US Open, forced him to pull out of the final in Switzerland and also hampered him in the Masters Cup - his first ever appearance at the end-of-season extravaganza.

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