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Old 09-02-2002, 07:20 PM   #16
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05/31/1997
THE MUSTER HUNTER

Shocking news from Roland Garros are that Gustavo Kuerten, our Guga, got a spectacular win over Thomas Muster, one of the best clay court players these days. Can we dream higher? The way Guga is playing, yes!

To the ones who didn´t see the match, I´ll tell you one point, happened in the middle of the second set (which Guga won 6/1). After yet another one of the humiliating drop-shots from the “evil” Kuerten (and they were about ten during the match), Thomas Muster shouted, in german:
- But what the hell is this? I´m playing my best tennis and this kid is killing me. Who is him? A genious?

Embarassed, the austrian and german reporters translated the outburst to the brazilians. They didn´t seem to believe what they were seeing either.


After the defeat, Muster was the first to recognize Guga´s merits. In the press conference, surprisingly calm, Muster said he did the best he could, but Kuerten, who he had never seen play, was too much.

- If he keeps on playing like that, I have no doubt he will be soon among the best of the world. I didn´t lose the match, he won it.

For the first time invited to the big conference room of Roland Garros, Kuerten had to tell segments of his life story to curious foreign reporters. One of the funniest questions came from an austrian:

- What makes a brazilian kid play tennis instead of soccer? Wouldn´t it be normal if you were Ronaldo´s partner?

Guga laughed a lot, and was great in the outcome:

- It wouldn´t be a bad idea. The problem is that I´m not friends with big balls. I tried soccer and basketball, but I could only make it work in tennis – he explained.

Many people asked if Guga wasn´t expecting now to get as big money as Ronaldo. Once again, he laughed:

- Who am I? In tennis, I think only Pete (Sampras) can get so big money.


Yesterday´s win garantees Guga a minimum prize money of US$109,4 thousand.


As soon as the match with Muster was finished, Guga ran to the stands and had a long hug with his brother Rafael – who came to Paris especially to see him play.

- This win is yours, it´s yours! – he repeated many times, touched.

Explaining: Rafael, two years older than Guga, used to play tennis as well in Florianopolis (the city where they all live). With the dad´s death, he became the “family man” and abandoned the idea of becoming a pro, so then Guga could follow that path.

Rafael is still a tennis instructor in Florianopolis.


Aldo Kuerten, Guga´s and Rafael´s father, died of a heart attack on a tennis court. He was seeing a match, with neither of his children in it, felt ill and died while getting examined in the hospital. Guga was 9, and Rafael, 11.


Larri Passos, Kuerten´s coach, says that Aldo, just sometime before he died, had asked him to coach Guga:

- By that time, I told him it was too early. When Guga turned 13, then I came to him and told him his father´s request. We are together since then. It´s already been seven years of work.


Who inspired Guga in tennis? Koch, Mandarino, Kirmayr, Mattar? The question came from a spanish reporter during the press conference after the match:

- I came to the conclusion I wanted to be a pro just after I watched that Davis Cup in which Brazil took Germany out and Italy and reached the semifinals. I loved to see Jaiminho (Jaime Oncins) play. I tried to use him as a role model for everything. He was my idol – said Guga, who also told us he expects his win yesterday would pump up some kids to pay tennis:

- Unfortunately, in Brazil, only victories and some carreers work as an incentive to the kids. The Tennis Federation doesn´t help in anything. Sometimes it even makes it more difficult.

Kuerten, Meligeni and Oncins didn´t receive 2/3 of the prize for the last Davis Cup matchup.


The scout from the Kuerten vs Muster match bring some interesting information. For example, Guga had 83 unforced errors, while Muster had 48. However, he scored 51 winners (36 forehand, 15 backhand), against Muster´s 32 (18 forehand, 14 backhand). Gustavo served for 14 aces, while Muster did 3. Guga had 173 total points. Muster had 163.


Today, Guga and Meligeni go back to the court for the doubles tournament. They will face the americans R. Leach and J. Stark
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'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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Old 10-05-2002, 01:24 AM   #17
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Im gonna try to restart the translation. I hope you enjoy.
Tommyboy is one who asked me do restart doing it. Ive been busy, but there is some time off right now. I just translated another chapter.
Ill post now, and Ill try to translate another one today.
Have fun!
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wooden jesus, can i be saved? i spent all my money on a future grave.. ill cut you in on 20% of my future sins..

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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Old 10-05-2002, 01:24 AM   #18
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06/01/1997
THE YOUNG RUSSIAN SHAKED

As she stepped for the first time on Roland Garros´ Central Court clay, the beautiful Anna Kournikova forgot her powerful tennis, which she showed us in her first two rounds.

Facing world number one, Kournikova got tight, put her head down, and got spanked. Martina Hingis had her best performance so far in Paris, an won easily, 6-1 and 6-3 in only 42 minutes.

Now, everybody is waiting for the magic final against Steffi Graf. Everybody but Monica Seles, who is also playing very well, and should face Hingis in the semifinals.


After the spectacular win over Muster, Gustavo Kuerten is receiving tons of nicknames, given by the european press. The “L´Equipe” calls him the “clay surfer” and remembers that his last name is the same as the famous serial killer on Germany´s history.

“After Muster, is it now time for the Medvedev Extermination?”, speculates the famous french sports newspaper.


Enchanted by Kuerten, the journalists from Germany got enthusiastic as soon as they knew Guga is a german descent (his grandmother on the father´s side) and that he has a german passport.

- You can play Davis Cup for our country, then? – they asked, thrilled.

Guga laugh, but cut all the talk with an overhead smash:

- If I ever thought of that, the brazilians would kill me! I´m crazy for my country, and it is the one I´m always gonna play for.


Some scaring numbers on Medvedev´s career: victories over Sampras, Ivanisevic, Kafelnikov and Edberg. There´s no doubt Guga will have another hard nut to crack today.


Guided to be one of the tournament´s stars – his name was cited by Guga in his press conference after the Muster match – coach Larri Passos used the many interviews he is giving to the european press to defend the training methods used in Brazil:

- A lot of people think that a good tennis player will only reach good form if he goes out to practice in the USA. That´s a big error. We, brazilians, are very emotive and connected to our stuff. Take some native boy away from our beaches, for example, is a crime. The important is to do the job seriously and plan correctly the matches abroad. Me and Guga are together for seven years, and the result is there.


Since he got to Paris (he is checked in a modest hotel called Mont Blanc, next to Roland Garros), Guga had all his meals on an italian Pizza Restaurant around. The place is very simple, but the name sounds great: Victoria.

- It´s working, why change? – jokes the player.


The doubles tournament is over for the brazilians: Meligeni and Kuerten were defeated yesterday by the north americans Rick Leach and Jonathan Stark, in the second round, on a double 3-6.


John McEnroe is not the only former player to work as a commentator in Roland Garros. Among the “journalists” are also former number ones Chris Evert (NBC) and Tracy Austin (USA Network). Among the french, Henri Leconte (France Television) e Guy Forget (EuroSport).
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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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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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wooden jesus, can i be saved? i spent all my money on a future grave.. ill cut you in on 20% of my future sins..

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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Old 10-05-2002, 01:52 AM   #20
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“Where did they take this kid from? What the hell was he doing untill last year??”
French reporter, in the Suzanne Lenglen tribune.

“This brazilian kid plays too good! He has it all to reach the finals.”
Henri Leconte, former tennis player and comentator.
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wooden jesus, can i be saved? i spent all my money on a future grave.. ill cut you in on 20% of my future sins..

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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Old 10-05-2002, 02:02 AM   #21
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Hey Hitman. Thanks for the translation. I enjoy it very much. Didn't watch RG in 97, so it's great to read all these to see how Guga became a champion. I wish I can watch Guga and Muster's match, Thomas was one of my favorite in his time, he's great on clay and I like his spirit. Anyway, great job that you are doing here and many thanks.
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Old 10-06-2002, 07:16 PM   #22
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Many thanks Hitman, that's a great reading.

No doubt Guga made Roland-Garros 97 a vintage year.

This unknown (to us ) kid winning all those 5 sets matches, defeating former winners, going all the way to the title in his colorful clothes... that was so exciting, and the way he was playing...

I remember Henri Leconte saying after some matches that he thought Guga could win the tournament and everybody thought he was crazy. That must have been the best thing he ever said in all his years on TV.
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:04 AM   #23
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Thanks for resuming your translation, hitman. I have enjoyed reading it and was going to ask you to resume it when I came back to this thread I also didn't watch RG in 97, and now I'm starting to regret it. In a good way
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Old 10-09-2002, 06:13 AM   #24
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hitman, thank you for all your work in translating. Its been so much fun to read how it all really started for Guga. I wish I had been following tennis back in '97 cause I would have loved to see him win his 1st French. The first time I ever saw Guga was at the '99 USO when he played Pioline. I didnt even know his name, but I knew there was something special about him. And if you saw that 3rd set tie-break you know what I'm talking about
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Old 10-09-2002, 02:19 PM   #25
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Oh yes, I do, Lily! That tiebreak is one to never forget!

Thanks for the sweet words you all. Its a shame I cant do it faster than this...

It should be concluded before Roland Garros....... 2005.
LOL!
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'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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Old 10-09-2002, 05:23 PM   #26
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I wish I had seen the '99 US Open. At the time, my thought was, What's the point? Agassi is going to win with Rafter and Sampras not contending. Now you all are talking about the tiebreak between Pioline and Kuerten in '99, and I am upset. Of course, I knew that Kuerten's days were coming, and I was going to be ready in 2000 to witness all the great ones.

Now I watch tennis because of Kuerten. I am a better fan now because I stick with him through anything. His losses and wins are good moments for me because he is playing, and he is smiling through them both. That is what life, tennis, and sports are about.

A personal note to Hitman, you better be kidding about finishing the documentary of '97 FO by 2005. By then you contribute eyewitness testimony on 2000 FO, 2000 Masters, 2001 FO, and all future Grand Slam, Davis Cup, and Olympic successes. I foresee all of this. Why? I am a Gugaholic! I am not anonymous about it either.
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Old 10-11-2002, 12:39 AM   #27
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Tommyboy,

The book Im translating is about ALL the three French Open crown runs.
Its longer than you think.

But yes, I was kidding about 2005.

I just bought a new book with hundreds of big color pictures, which has comments from ALL of Guga´s Roland Garros, from 1996 to 2002. Very beautiful...
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wooden jesus, can i be saved? i spent all my money on a future grave.. ill cut you in on 20% of my future sins..

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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Old 10-11-2002, 11:21 AM   #28
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Hi, Hitman,

I haven't been back in Guga's forum for a while now. This is great reading, what you've translated. I've been admiring Guga since i saw him in RG '97 (nowadays i support the guy on my avatar) and has been won by his good nature & his warm character which just radiates on court. I'll never forget how he won that year playing three 5 setters and defeating 3 former champions to win the title. I'll also never forget how he bowed to Vilas (i'm not worthy!) during the presentation. It was an endearing gesture. I also had the privilege & pleasure of seeing him play live in Gstaad in '98.

Anyway, i'm looking forward to reading further, obrigado for sharing it here...
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Old 10-11-2002, 01:36 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by hitman
I just bought a new book with hundreds of big color pictures, which has comments from ALL of Guga´s Roland Garros, from 1996 to 2002. Very beautiful...
Jealous, jealous, jealous, jealous . . .

They don't sell many books about tennis or players here, much less such a magnificent find as you mention here!
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Old 10-12-2002, 01:57 AM   #30
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06/02/1997
ALLEZ, GUGA!

Four more games for Guga to tie it with Thomas Koch (in 1968) and reach the quarterfinals of Roland Garros. Four games that are expected to be dramatic, and that because if they are won by the ukranian Andrei Medvedev, he as well could be there – leaving the brazilian behind. Guga will serve first, what is not certain win, since just in the fifth set we had a break a piece. It´s gonna be nervous!

Worse: if we have a tie in 6-6, there´s no tiebreak. They play on, untill one of the two get a two game gap. Summarizing: it can be fast as a blink of an eye, or long and hard as a marathon. Let´s get the hearts prepared.


For what he´s been playing in this tournament, Guga deserves a spot among the eight best in Roland Garros. During the match suspended yesterday (in a tied 2 sets a piece, 2 games a piece situation), he was yet again surprising one of the best tennis player in the world – this time the ukranian Andrei Medvedev, placed as world number 20 in the rankings, but who is a former number 4 and has over US$ 4 million in prize money for his carreer.
Many times during the match, Medvedev looked lost facing the powerful forehands and backhands from Guga – always from the baseline. In three ocasions he threw his racquet to the clay, irritated for being kicked by another winner.
Just as what happened to Muster, the ukranian could breath again as he could lead the match to the fifth set and as he could break the brazilian in the first game of the last set. Illusion: Guga gave the break back, and the match is tied once again, on 2-2.
It´s possible that Medvedev ousts Guga. But, certainly, he won´t ever forget this day, in which he suffered for 2 hours and 16 minutes facing a brazilian boy about whom he had never heard before untill he knew he´d just beaten Thomas Muster in the previews round.
- Where did you take this kid from? What the hell was he doing untill last year?
In all the languages, the question is always the same. Journalists from all around the globe, tennis specialists or not, show their enchantment with Gustavo Kuerten:
- What a player! Medvedev is crazy. He doesn´t know what to do – a russian was saying, after the first three sets.
The requests for interviews are repeated. As the time of the players is limited, the way to solve it is running after the brazilian coleagues, who, before anything else, have to teach them how to write Guga – very strange to them:
- Cu-ca? Cu-co? Cu-ga?
Whatever it sounds like, the word Guga is being repeated everywhere. Henri Leconte, former tennis players, is one of them. He had many good words to say:
- This brazilian kid plays to good. He has it all to reach the finals.
Amen, Henri...


As soon as the match was suspended, Larri Passos locked the locker room, and half an hour later got out asking the reporters to not interview Guga yesterday:
- Please, we are having a special work in mentalizing the best shots. Guga is doing very well in the match, and I would appreciate if you could not talk to him so his focus does not get lost. The match is very tight and both players are doing similar things – and playing very well. They are both attacking in the second serves, and hitting hard and with angles from the baseline. The more focused of them will win when they come back tomorrow. That´s why I´m asking you to not interrupt Guga´s concentration.
His request was respected.


The bad news of the day came from Marc Rosset. Facing the swed Magnus Norman – who took Pete Sampras out – he had a terrible mistake, and threw his racquet to the sky with all his power.
It came back into the crowd, almost hitting a kid and a lady. Completely embarassed, Rosset got down on his knees and, hands to the sky, asked for forgiveness. The crowd accepted his request. Magnus, though, didn´t forgive him and defeated him in four sets.
Another one to go home was the north-american Lindsay Davenport. She was leading the croatian Iva Majoli 7/5 4/1 and 40-15 on her own serve, and lost it. Majoli won 5/7 6/4 and 6/2.


Martina Hingis won again, but played shaky again. She even lost the second set 6/0. In the fifth, though, she gave the bagel back to win it. She will have to play a lot more to get to the finals. Arantxa and Seles are on her way still.


Aussie Mark Philippoussis was demolished by the russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov, but left the Center Court with the tournament´s fastest speed serve. He hit a “Scud” at 221 kmph! The second in speed is Kafelnikov himself, 213 kmph. Sampras comes next, 211, and then Marc Rosset, 208. Goran Ivanisevic is the fifth, with 206 kmph.


Do you know who is Roland Garros´ biggest winner ever?
You are wrong if you said Bjorn Borg. The ice swede won 6 singles championships (74, 75, 79, 80 and 81), but the north-american Chris Evert won the women´s singles 7 times (74, 75, 79, 80, 83, 85 and 86). Next, tied with 5, two other women: Margareth Court (62, 64, 69, 70 and 73) and Steffi Graf (87, 88, 93, 95 and 96).


The brazilian Alexandre Simoni started with a win in the Boy´s singles draw. He defeated the russian Marat Safin, 7/6 7/5. Today Carla Tiene goes to the court. She is the only brazilian in the girl´s tournament.
__________________
wooden jesus, can i be saved? i spent all my money on a future grave.. ill cut you in on 20% of my future sins..

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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