This 29-year old Romanian tennis player turned pro in 2000, a year after he earned his first singles rankings in the ATP. He was born in Bucharest on July 21, 1981.
A year before turning pro, he won the first rounds in the Romani F1 and F2 FUTURES tournaments and capped the year by placing at no. 1231. A year later, in 2000, he played in the Satellites and FUTURES tournaments and placed fourth at the Satellite tournament which was held in Croatia. He followed this with a third place at the Satellite tournament in Portugal a few months later in October/November. He finished the year a few ranks higher at no. 477.
In 2001, Hanescu won several titles in consecutive weeks in the Slovakia F1 and F2 FUTURES events and reached the top 400 after finishing in the quarterfinals at a Budapest Challenger. Seeded as no. 1 in Bucharest by July, he reached the final at the F1 and F2 in Romania and made his ascent in the rankings to land at #319. He again reached the finals in Germany and landed at no. 209. He made it into the top 200 in October but unfortunately ended 2001 with a spot at no. 212.
A year later, Hanescu reached his first ATP quarterfinal in Umag, Croatia. However, a more notable win was that of his first Challenger in September. He capped the year of at a ranking of no. 172.
Hanescu made it to the top 100 in 2003 after qualifying for his second Masters event in Paris, upsetting other players like Nadal and Roddick. By the time the year ended he had a spot at no. 70. He recorded his first-ever win over a top 10 player when he beat Rainer Schuettler in Estoril in 2004, the same year when he won his second Challenger title in Rome. His second victory over a top 10 player came in 2005 when he defeated Mariano Puerta and reached a career-high ranking of 35 before the year was over.