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Coached by Ricardo Sanchez ... Mother introduced her to tennis at age seven; in Bogota, became a member of the Colsanitas Tennis Team ... Baseliner who prefers clay courts; serve is strongest shot ... Mother, Amelia Amado, father, Arles Zuluaga, and brother, Luis, are all certified public accountants ... On December 11, 2004 will marry fiancee Julian Garcia (a journalist) in Cucuta ... Grew up admiring Gabriela Sabatini ... Enjoys playing golf, bowling and soccer in her free time ... Favorite colour is black ... Likes to read a lot of Spanish drama novels while on the road and listen to Colombian music ... Favorite movie is "Stepmom" ... Proudest moment of her career to date was reaching 2004 Australian Open SF, being the first man or woman from Colombia to do so at a Grand Slam.
Winner (5): 2004 - Bogota; 2003 - Bogota; 2002 - Bogota; 2001 - ITF/Hallandale Beach-USA; 1999 - Bogota, Sao Paulo, ITF/Cali-COL; 1998 - ITF/Orbetello-ITA, ITF/Cali-COL, ITF/Bogota-COL; 1997 - ITF/Bogota-COL; 1996 - ITF/Bogota-COL, ITF/Bytom-POL; 1995 - ITF/Cali-COL.
Finalist (1): 2000 - Madrid.
Semifinalist (4): 2005 - Bogota; 2004 - Australian Open; 2002 - Madrid; 2000 - Rome.
Finalist (1): 2002 - Quebec City (w/Salerni).
Semifinalist (3): 2004 - Warsaw (w/Daniilidou); 2003 - Bogota (w/Sußrez); 1998 - Bogota (w/Mesa).
Colombian Fed Cup Team 1995-2000, 2003. Colombian Olympic Team 2000, 2004.
Career in Review
1993 - Made ITF Circuit debut in hometown event, ITF/Bogota-COL (reached 2r)
1994 - In second pro event, reached final of ITF/Bogota-COL; ranked No. 565, qualified for Los Angeles in Tour debut
1995 - Won first professional singles title at ITF/Cali-COL
1996 - Won ITF/Bogota-COL and ITF/Byton-POL; qualified for Amelia Island
1997 - Successfully defended ITF/Bogota-COL title; played first Grand Slam qualifying at Roland Garros
1998 - First Top 100 finish; in hometown of Bogota, reached first Tour QF (l. to eventual champion Sußrez in 3s) and later in year won ITF Circuit event there for third straight year, along with two other ITF Circuit titles; made Grand Slam debut by qualifying for US Open, reaching 2r; on September 28, broke into Top 100 at No. 99
1999 - First Top 50 finish; seeded No. 5 in hometown of Bogota, won first Tour singles title (d. Papadaki in final); broke into Top 50 on May 10 at No. 50; played three Grand Slams, reaching Roland Garros 3r on debut; reached Amelia Island QF and Miami 3r; ended season with 10-match win streak, collecting second Tour crown at Sao Paulo (d. Wartusch in final 75 third set) and defending ITF/Cali-COL title
2000 - Reached career-high ranking of No. 31 on July 10; as a qualifier at Rome, d. world No. 14 Halard-Decugis (first Top 20 win) and No. 6 Tauziat (first Top 10 win) en route to first Tier I SF; ranking jumped from No. 69 to No. 41; the following week, reached Madrid final (l. to Leon Garcia), improving ranking from No. 69 to No. 34 in two-week period; at Roland Garros, d. world No. 16 Capriati in 1r, retiring in third set of 3r vs. Zvereva due to viral illness that kept her out of Wimbledon; at Sydney Olympics, in first match after illness, d. No. 9 seed Mauresmo en route to 3r
2001 - Missed most of the 2001 season due to two right shoulder surgeries for a rotator cuff injury and a fracture; in first tournament back in October, won ITF/Hallandale Beach-USA
2002 - Ranked No. 285 and playing in first Tour event since 2000 Quebec City, received WC into Bogota (site of her first career title in 1999) and won tournament for second time in four years, not dropping a set en route (d. Srebotnik in final) and became lowest-ranked player to win a Tour singles title in 2002; reached SF at Madrid; reached second career Tier I QF at Canadian Open (l. to eventual champion Mauresmo); at Quebec City, reached career-first doubles final (w/Salerni)
2003 - First Top 40 finish; won hometown tournament in Bogota for third time (d. Medina Garrigues in final); played all four Grand Slams in a season for the first time; reached QF at Warsaw (d. world No. 9 Hantuchova for second Top 10 win) and 3r at Berlin (as a qualifier; d. No. 19 Shaughnessy, returning to Top 50 first time since February 2000), Roland Garros, Canadian Open and US Open (best-ever result there); on August 11, reached No. 35, highest rank since September 2000
2004 - Career-best season highlighted by first Grand Slam SF debut and winning fifth career WTA Tour title at Bogota; as No.32 seed at Australian Open, received QF w/o from Mauresmo (back injury) to become first Colombian player to reach Grand Slam SF (l. to eventual champion Henin-Hardenne) and with Schnyder, marked first time in 26 years two non-Top 16 seeds reached SF in same draw; as top seed, won fourth Bogota title (1999, 2002, 2003), d. No.2 seed Sanchez Lorenzo in 3s in final (became first player to win an event three years in a row since Clijsters at Luxembourg, 2001-2003); reached QF at Hobart (l. to Asagoe), Indian Wells (l. to Dechy û afterwards on March 22, made Top 20 debut at No.20), Berlin (d. No.12 Zvonareva and No.10 Sugiyama en route, l. to Sprem) and Filderstadt (l. to Kuznetsova); made 4r at Roland Garros (l. to V.Williams); represented Colombia at Olympics in singles (d. No.7 seed Suarez in 2r, l. in 3r to Schiavone) and in doubles (w/Castano, l. 2r); passed $1 million in career earnings; withdrew from Amelia Island with right shoulder injury, and ret. during 1r vs. Suarez at Rome with lower back strain.
2005 - Season highlighted by SF finish at Bogota (as top seed, l. to qualifier Dominguez Lino; had won 17 straight matches at the event prior to that loss) and QF finish at Sydney (d. world No.11 Zvonareva en route, falling to Molik; afterwards on January 17, moved to career-best singles ranking of No.16); reached 4r at Indian Wells (as No.19 seed, d. No.13 seed Hantuchova en route; l. to Sharapova 75 third set) and 3r at Miami (l. to V.Williams); 2r four other times, incl. Australian Open (as No.17 seed, upset by Groenefeld), Roland Garros (l. to V.Williams in 3s) and US Open (l. to No.4 seed and eventual champion Clijsters 75 60); missed Amelia Island w/illness, withdrew from Luxembourg due to right shoulder injury.