GUGA FACES QUALIFIER IN THE OPENING MATCH
Source: Guga´s site
He will play doubles with Andre Sa [
Gustavo Kuerten doesn´t know his first opponent for the season, in Auckland, New Zealand. In the draw made this Saturday, Guga was placed to face a qualifier for his opening match of the year.
Seeded number four, behind only Jiri Novak, David Nalbandian and Fernando Gonzalez, Guga won´t know his opponent untill the qualifying rounds are over, probably on Sunday. Although the official order of play is not yet announced, he will probably play on Tuesday, Auckland time, Monday night in Brazil due to the time gap.
"I always say that play against a qualifier is a puzzle. You can face it two ways: the first is that the guy is not as well ranked, and less experient. The other side, though, he comes in with nothing to lose, and confident because of the matches he just won, and it makes a difference, especially in the beggining of the season," said Guga, who plays the Auckland ATP for the first time in his carreer. "This first match is really important. If I can win one or two matches, I may get tough for the week."
DOUBLES - Fit and chasing more play rhythm, Gustavo Kuerten will also play the doubles draw. His partner is Andre Sa, with whom Guga was a runner-up for last year´s Brasil Open. They also won the doubles match on Davis Cup against Canada.
"I like to play doubles. It surely helps in the singles, me and Andre work well together in and off the court, we managed to get into the draw, so we´re going to give it all," said Guga, who last year had an official season closure as a runner-up of the Paris TMS on doubles, with frenchman Cedric Pioline.
The first match on doubles is yet to be announced, but it will be against the number three seeds Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, from Czech Republic. "They are the favorites of course, since they only play doubles, but we have to get into the court ready to surprise them."