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Old 04-01-2004, 01:58 AM   #47
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Default Re: Guga and Roland Garros, born for each other

06/04/1997
GRANNY KNOWS IT ALL.

Believe it if you can: the Kuerten who knows more about tennis is Granny Olga. Guga himself told this story, saying that the sweet lady, on her 75 years old, has the “Player Guide” on the side of her bed and knows by heart the goods and bads of most of the tour players. Previous to playing Dewulf, Guga promises he will talk to Granny...

Granny Olga is a hot subject at the Roland Garros Press Center for some time now. Ever since Guga beat Muster and the european reporters discovered he is of German ascendancy (from her grandmother) and has a german passport, someone always asks about her. Yesterday, Gustavo had fun about her passion for tennis:

- It’s true. She knows everything about the players. Ever since I joined the tour and took one of those guides home, she grabbed it and read it all. Before each match, she studies all the characteristics of my opponents and gives me advice like: watch out, he has a tremendous forehand, or, pay attention to his serve! She is the real expert back home.


Gustavo Kuerten’s mother, Alice, is thinking about coming over to Paris to see her son’s last two matches. One thing, though, still keeps the doubt on her:

- Mom is really supersticious. As I won all these matches without her here, I don’t know if she will want to change it now. But she is crazy to come see me play, that’s for sure. And I would like it a lot if she could come. Especially if I get to the final.


Guga is also supersticious. He revealed yesterday that he never steps over the lines, for “nothing in this world”:

- Only if it’s unporposedly, during a point. If I can manage to, I jump them.


During the press conference, someone introduced the subject of Guga’s father’s death, of a heart attack during a match. For the first time, Guga spoke openly about the subject:

- Daddy was an umpire for tennis matches, and he was working on a kid’s tournament in Florianopolis. He felt ill on court and died at the hospital. I was very young (9 years old) and my memories are obscure.

A journalist then asked if Guga would dedicate the Roland Garros title to his father. The answer came from his wet eyes:

- My whole life is dedicated to his memory. Winning Roland Garros has nothing to do with it.


Larri Passos was extremely unhappy with the question and the memories of Aldo Kuerten. Explanation: Larri is a follower of the neurolinguistics, which condemns any unhappy or negative thought at all. All of Passos’ work with Kuerten in on the basis of valorizing the right and positive things. He avoids even discussing the errors after each match. He prefers to talk about the good points and correct the mistakes during the practice sessions, without the player even noticing it.


Larri Passos is showing to the world that he is a very efficient coach. He sees what happens during the matches as few people, and yesterday he gave Guga a key tip during the 4th set:

- Kafelnikov was starting to hit slice serves, complicating Guga’s returns. I told Guga to move a bit to the right to return the serve, and hit the first shot with a big angle on his forehand, almost a winner. It worked well. Guga had many points out of this, and the russian had to change his serve eventualy.


For Larri, the match against Kafelnikov was the best performance from Guga, but not the most important match:

- You know what was really important? That bagel on Slava Dosedel, first set of the first match. By then, Guga got full of confidence and started hitting with all his power. The first match of a big tournament as Roland Garros is always the most complicated for every coach – he said.


Reaching the semifinals of Roland Garros made Gustavo Kurten the most succesfull Brazilian player in terms of Grand Slam results. Among the men, of course. Maria Ester Bueno won Wimbledon three times and the US Open four times. Here in Roland Garros, she got to a final once, but lost.


Luís Felipe Tavares was reminding us all that another Brazilian once reached a Grand Slam semifinal:

- It was Roland Barnes, Grandad (as he was called in the Country) in 1963, US Open which was played in Forest Hills.


Interviewed by networks from all over the world, Guga heard the most difficult question from Eurosport:

- If you had to chose between this title here or the 5 timer for the football team (France 1998), which one would you chose?

Guga scratched his volumous hair and answered:

- Let’s do the following: the football team is the favorite to win, they don’t need this kind of “help”. But Guga here was a tremendous darkhorse. Let’s garantee mine first, okay?


Amanda Coetzer sent Steffi Graf home. The so dreamed confrontation with Hingis has to wait until Wimbledon.
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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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