Sergi Brugera: French Open Champion to Soccer Star
From The Gulf Times
Bruguera reliving the past
Publish Date: Monday,11 April, 2005, at 12:51 AM Doha Time
By N.D. Prashant
Sergi Bruguera’s face reflected a great sense of accomplishment on Friday. After all, he had tamed Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, who till last year was battling the world’s best on the professional circuit.
The win was particularly satisfying because the Spaniard had come from a set down to eventually put matters beyond the reach of Ivanisevic, a former Wimbledon champion.
“I played great tennis. One has to play quality tennis to beat someone like Goran and I am happy that I played quality tennis. It was like reliving old memories,” said Bruguera.
Ever since Bruguera retired from the pro game, he has been pursuing his long-cherished dream - football.
“Football has always been the first love for any Spaniard and I am no different. When I was playing tennis, I always wanted to play football and after I quit tennis I have got hooked on to it.
“For the last three years I have been playing professional football for a second division club - Leckera Aashapla.”
Bruguera, like the other veterans participating in the tournament, is happy that he is apart of such an ATP Championship.
“Such tournaments bring old friends together. We get a feeling that there’s lots of tennis left in us. The competitiveness is still there and we like to do well,” said Bruguera, who has fond memories of victories over Pete Sampras, Andrei Medvedev and Jim Courier to become the first Spaniard to win a grand slam - the French Open - since Andres Gimeno in 1972.
According to Bruguera there are quit a few young talents emerging from his country and they have all the potential to make it big in the coming years.
“Tennis has grown in leaps and bounds in Spain and there are many players keen to make it big, which is a good thing. So there will be quite a few names ready to enter the big arena.”
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