Kuerten Retires After One Set Against Pavel
By Richard Pagliaro
A recurrence of pain in his surgically repaired right hip sent Gustavo Kuerten to an early retirement today. Defending champion Andrei Pavel led Kuerten 7-5 when the three-time French Open champion retired from the first round match of the Tennis Masters Series-Canada tournament in Toronto.
"Since I've started to play on hard courts, it (the hip) is still bothering me a little bit," Kuerten said. "It's a little bit tough for me to play too many matches in a row and practice and not take too much risk."
The former top-ranked Kuerten reached the quarterfinals of the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles last week where he fell to eventual-champion Andre Agassi. It was Kuerten's first hard-court tournament since he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right hip in February.
In the aftermath of today's retirement, Kuerten suggested he will spend the rest of the season playing periodically while concentrating on improving his condition.
"This year, I will try to improve my game and get my physical condition back," Kuerten said. "I've got to be patient. I still have to fight against this (his hip injury). I want to come back strong for next year and go for it."