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Old 10-05-2002, 01:50 AM   #19
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06/02/1997
INTERRUPTED BATTLE

Gustavo Kuerten has definitely conquered the frenchs´ hearts (the crowd chants “Allez Guga” to support him) and he got a big crowd of patriot brazilians to his match with Andrei Medvedev. Everybody got as a gift some wonderful shots, but they had to postpone the celebration for today. Kuerten lost the first set 5-7, won the following two 6-2 and 6-2, lost the fourth 6-1. In the fifth, tied on two, the match, which had already been played for 2 hours and 16 minutes, was postponed due to lack of natural light.

Supported by the crowd – including a nuttie with our Soccer Team t-shirt, a Santa hat and shorts in a 12 C cold weather – Kuerten blew good chances to break Medvedev´s serve in the first set. The first one was in the 2nd game, when the brazilian was leading 1-0. In the 6th game, 4 more chances. And Medvedev tied it all 3-3.

Andrei Medvedev would win the following three games, closing the set with a 7-5. The difficult moment seems to have messed with Guga, who came back rolling in the second set. He broke the ukranian´s serve already in the second game, won the fifth and sixth without losing a single point, and closed the set on 6-1, in 47 minutes. In the third, the tough time came back – for a short time. Kuerten broke in the 1st game, went to a 2-0 lead, but gave it back to a 2-2 tie. With another break just after that, the brazilian opened the sequence of perfect games: 6-2 in 25 minutes.

The road to the win was paved. Or seemed to be. But only one break of serve was enough for Guga to lose the focus in the fourth – as it happened against Muster as well. With a double fault, he let Medvedev open a 3-1 lead, and, nervous, started shouting at himself. The smart ukranian used that as an advantage to close the set 6-1, in 26 minutes.

The lack of focus went into the fifth, as Guga let Medvedev break his first game of serve, to lead 1-0. When everything seemed to be lost, the brazilian managed to get a break, and went 2-1 up with a gorgeous winner. Before the 4th game, Medvedev complained about the light. But not before he tied it 2-2 did the referee stop the match, with 14 minutes played in that set.
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TWENTY!
'97 ROLAND GARROS, '98 Stuttgart, '98 Mallorca, '99 MONTE CARLO, '99 ROMA, '00 Santiago, '00 HAMBURG, '00 ROLAND GARROS, '00 Indianapolis, '00 MASTERS CUP LISBOA, '01 Buenos Aires, '01 Acapulco, '01 MONTE CARLO, '01 ROLAND GARROS, '01 Stuttgart, '01 CINCINNATI, '02 Costa do Sauipe, '03 Auckland, '03 St. Petersburg, '04 Costa do Sauipe.
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