Thomaz Bellucci is looking to make it past the second round of the U.S. Open for the first time Wednesday night when he takes on third-ranked Stan Wawrinka under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Bellucci, a 26-year-old from Brazil, won his first round match in straight sets Monday over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
His match Wednesday will be a whole lot harder. Wawrinka, who also won Monday in straight sets, won the Australian Open in January and is looking to further establish himself as one of the best players in the world.
Here’s what you need to know about Bellucci:
1. He’s Never Won a Grand Slam Title
Belluci, who turned pro in 2005, has never been past the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament and has never been past the second round at Flushing Meadows.
Belluicci’s win over Mahut was his first in Queens since 2010, when he lost in the second round. He also advanced to the second round in 2008 and 2009, the first two years he played in the tournament.
His best performance at a Grand Slam was a fourth-round appearance at the French Open in 2010. He also advanced to the third round at Wimbledon in 2010 and at the French Open in 2011.
2. He’s Ranked 91st in the World
Bellucci entered the tournament ranked 91st in the ATP singles rankings. The ranking is a slight improvement from his standing earlier this year, when he fell out of the top 100 and was ranked as low as 122nd in April.
Belluci’s bio on the ATP site says one of his goals is to make it into the top 20 — a feat he nearly accomplished in 2010, when he was ranked as high as 21st.
3. He’s Won 3 Career Singles Titles
Bellucci has three career singles titles, all of which came on clay: In 2009 and 2012 at the Suiss Open and in 2010 at the Royal Guard Open in Chile.
He was also a finalist at the Brasil Open in 2009 and the Kremlin Cup in 2012. The Kremlin Cup appearance is his lone finals appearance at a hardcourt tournament.
4. He’s the Son of a Salesman & a Business Owner
According to Bellucci’s ATP bio, his father, Ildebrando, is a salesman. His mother, Maria Regina, is a business owner. He also has a sister named Beatriz.
5. He’s a Big Soccer Fan
Bellucci was among the countless Brazilians fired up for the World Cup earlier this summer. He’s shown in the photo above with the official World Cup ball.
Discuss on Facebook