He finished 1988 ranked No. 151 in the world rankings.
In April 1989, Pereira reached the Quarterfinals of the Tokyo Japan Open, beating No.21 ranked Andrés Gómez among others, before losing to number one ranked Ivan Lendl. In June, he beat world number three Stefan Edberg in straight sets in the first round of the Queens Club grass court tournament.
A few weeks later, in the first round of Wimbledon, he took world number one ranked Ivan Lendl to five sets before losing. Later that summer, he reached the Quarterfinals of the Grand Prix event at Montreal, the Canadian Open. There he beat No.10 ranked Tim Mayotte, before losing in three sets to number No.14 ranked Jay Berger. Pereira, at only 19 years of age, seemed to be establishing himself on the World Tennis Tour and finished 1989 ranked #121. However, for unknown reasons, Pereira's progress was stalled over the next three years. In 1990, he lost most of his matches in the first round of ATP level tournaments and finished the year ranked #238. In 1991 he did win the Lins and São Paulo-4 Challengers in back-to-back weeks, and was ranked No.146 at year's end. He won the Guarujá, Brazil Challenger in September 1992 and was ranked No.138 at the end of the year. In 1993, Pereira began to compete more frequently at the ATP tour level. At the U.S Open, he lost in four sets to world number seven Michael Chang. Incredibly, this marked only the third time Pereira had reached the second round of a Grand Slam tournament. He ended the year by defeating No.45 Aaron Krickstein in the first round at the Bermuda Challenger, but lost in the second round.
At the end of 1993, Pereira was ranked #141.
1994 marked a resurgence for Pereira. In March, he won the San Luis Potosí Challenger. At Wimbledon, he reached the second round where he lost a thrilling five set match to No.18 Andre Agassi. In September, Pereira beat Mauricio Hadad at the ATP Bogotá to register his first ATP tournament title. He closed out 1994 ranked #110. 1995 was a mixed bag for Pereira. In July, he annexed the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Challenger title by defeating Joao Culna-Silva in straight sets.