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Old 03-10-2004, 04:15 PM   #1
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Old 03-10-2004, 04:16 PM   #2
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From tennis week

http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennis...&bannerregion=

Guga Earns Player Of The Month Honors
03/08/2004

February was a month to remember for Gustavo Kuerten. The three-time French Open champion thrilled Brazilian fans by rallying from a set down in three of his five tournament wins en route to capturing his first championship of the season at the Brasil Open. Now, the 16th-ranked Kuerten is being honored for his efforts as the ATP Player of the Month for February.

It was a month that saw the former No. 1 win nine of 11 matches and reach the final in Vina del Mar, Chile before falling to Fernando Gonzalez. In his native Brazil, Kuerten overcame Agustin Calleri, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, in the final to claim his 20th career championship and raise his record to 14-4 on the season. It was Kuerten's first clay-court crown since 2001 as he improved his career record with Calleri to 4-1.

"It has been the week of confirmation for me," Kuerten said. "I have been a fighter on court and gave more than 100 percent on court with all my heart on every point. These are the things that keep motivating me since I know there are not many players with so many titles."

Swedish teenager Robin Soderling, a finalist in Marseille, was named ATP Rising Star of the Month. The doubles team of Jared Palmer and Pavel Vizner were named ATP Team of the Month after winning the title in Milan and reaching the semifinals of Marseille.
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Old 03-10-2004, 05:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the article, Lee. Guga has deserved this honour especially as he had to overcome his illness to win in Brasil. I guess it´s a long time since was player of the month last time.....
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Old 03-10-2004, 08:55 PM   #4
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Cool! Congrats Guga!!! Thanks for the article Lee!!!
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:22 AM   #5
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I just found an old but very interesting article with a long interview from March 10, 2001. It´s from the online edition of the Indian newspaper "The Hindu" (http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2...s/0710044l.htm) - original in English, no translation

Getting to know Gustavo Kuerten by Paul Fein

EVERYBODY LOVES Guga. In soccer-crazy Brazil, Gustavo Kuerten tops every football player in popularity polls. Throughout South America he's more adored than any tennis player since handsome Argentine Guillermo Vilas a generation ago. And his endearing personality makes Kuerten a favourite in Europe where fans rooted for him to beat sporting Swede Magnus Norman in their thrilling French Open final last year.

How can you not like a family values guy who ships his trophies to his mentally handicapped younger brother, Guilherme, back home in Florianopolis? Or a young star so humble that he urged his countrymen not to build a statue of him? Or a carefree spirit who sings in the locker room and once philosophised, in tennis, you can only lose, you know, the other guy can't eat you?

Wherever Kuerten displays his scintillating shotmaking, a band of yellow-and-blue clad, banner-waving, drum-beating Brazilians cheer and chant him to victory. The skinny, wild-haired 24-year- old captured his second French title in 2000 and then proved he wasn't just a clay court champion by winning the Masters Cup to become the first South American man to capture the year-end No. 1 ranking.

The Guga I encountered in this probing interview is a relaxed, uncomplicated man of the people whose joy of life makes him the most likeable and uncontroversial star in tennis.

Nicolas Lapentti said: Some of the top players wont talk to you. But Guga has not changed. He's the same Guga I've known for 10 years now.

Question: How have you managed to stay the same even though you've become rich, famous and a national hero?

Answer: My life has changed, but I've stayed the same person. Of course, when I go out in the streets, I stop for pictures and people feel happy when they see me. But I am the same. I have the same friends, the same people working with me, my family by my side all the time. I have a simple life. I don't deal with fame every day. I don't go to the Oscars or stuff like that. I'm simple. And I guess that even if I wanted to change, I wouldn't be able to.

Q: Hicham El Guerrouj, the great Moroccan runner, said, The source of my motivation is having a whole country behind me. What is the source of your motivation?

A: There are a lot of things that motivate me: the will to go for new things, to reach another level, to get somewhere I've never been before, to experience new things. On court, the crowds motivate me a lot. I am sure I would have lost some matches if it wasn't for the crowd. I love having a full stadium for a match. The atmosphere that they create is unbelievable.

Q: Larri Passos has coached you for 11 years, a record for longevity on the pro tour now. Why has your relationship been so successful and enduring?

A: We trust each other a lot. We know each other very well. And since we started working together a long time ago, it has worked out perfectly. When I first won the French Open, many people, especially in Brazil, said I should change coaches. But I didn't. Larri is very important to me. He is by my side, motivating me, sticking with me in the bad and the good times.

Q: You have said your priority as a tennis player is to excite and entertain. Why is that your highest priority - even ahead of making tennis history or being a sports immortal?

A: I did say that. But for my life, my highest priorities are being happy, healthy and enjoying what I'm doing.

Q: What is your favourite Grand Slam tournament?

A: It is definitely the French Open. First of all, it is the place where I won my biggest tournament ever and where everything happened to me. And second, it is played on clay, my favourite surface. When I enter the site, it feels like home to me. I know every single detail about it, including the people. I wish all the four Grand Slams were the French Open.

Q: Brazil has never won the Davis Cup, and you've never won Wimbledon. Would you rather win the Davis Cup or Wimbledon?

A: The Davis Cup. I don't like Wimbledon. It's not on my list of favourite tournaments.

Q: Why do you dislike Wimbledon?

A: First, I don't like playing on grass, and I guess you have to feel good when you're at a tournament, and I don't feel good when I'm at Wimbledon. You don't feel that warm welcome, the weather is bad, and you cant have your family because they don't give you many badges. Of course, I know the tradition and tennis history, but I definitely don't like that tournament. Its not my priority, and its very tough to get ready to play there after a good French Open.

Q: What would it mean to you, tennis in Brazil and the Brazilian people if you won the Davis Cup?

A: I love playing Davis Cup because I have a good spirit to play it, its a team sport and you are playing for your country, not only for yourself. It would be amazing to win the Davis Cup. We reached the semifinals last year, and we've been in the World Group for six years now. Its definitely one of my goals for 2001, although I know we still have a long way to go. Davis Cup motivates people. So it would be fantastic for Brazilian tennis if we won the Davis Cup.

Q: What have you learned from living on and playing on the pro tour?

A: I learn a lot from being on the tour. You learn something new every day, travelling, meeting people, but especially on court and when you lose. You learn that you always have to try your best, and then you'll know you have done all you could. Always keep trying and if you follow what you think is right, you will find the recipe, and sooner or later the results will come.

Q: How did you get the nickname Guga?

A: Its a common nickname for Gustavo in Brazil.

Q: Before the 2000 Masters Cup in Lisbon, you were aching so badly that you almost considered dropping out of it. How did you beat Kafelnikov, Sampras and Agassi to win the title and capture the No. 1 ranking for 2000 despite wearing a huge back brace?

A: It was really important to me. I knew I was playing great tennis by that time. And it would have been very disappointing to go home without even having tried.

Q: After you won the Masters Cup, you said, Today is the best day of my life, for sure. What have been the No. 2 and No. 3 best days of your life so far?

A: I don't know. Its tough to say. I've had lots of days that are amazing. I've had lots of days that are very good. Maybe the other best days were when I won the French Open for the first and second times.

Q: Larri Passos said you are too nice in tournament competition and you have to become more intense and proud. Is being too nice holding you back?

A: Not now. But when I first started playing I wouldn't hit a smash towards the other player, or stuff like that. Sometimes I'm still too nice. But I'm not going to lose a match because of that.

Q: You and Patrick Rafter seem like soulmates. He said he admires you the most on the pro tour. You've surfed together with Rafter. What do you like about him?

A: He is a down-to-earth guy who likes the beach and treats everybody the same way. I like that about him.

Q: Like Edberg and Sampras, you switched from a two-handed backhand to a one-hander as a teenager. Is your powerful one- handed backhand now your best shot?


A: Larri changed my backhand when I was really young. Sometimes I feel more confident with the backhand, sometimes with the forehand.

Q: You have said you regret spending so much time away from Brazil. Should there be more and bigger pro tournaments in an important tennis country like Brazil and in South America generally?

A: We definitely deserve a tournament in Brazil and more tournaments in South America. Its already time! And its not only because of the trips, but because we must have a tournament for the public, for the players and to develop tennis in Brazil.

Q: You like to surf on the Internet every day. What are your favourite web sites?

A: Of course, my favourite is my website, www.guga.com.br. I log on it very often to chat with the fans and read what they think. I also surf on www.globo.com to see the Brazilian news, especially on sports. I also go to www.clicrbs.com.br to read my local newspaper from Florianopolis and on www.camerasurf.com.br to see the waves.

Q: Which is your favourite sports team?

A: It's the soccer team from my home town. Not many people know about it. Its called Avai, and its a 2nd Division team. Whenever I am home, I go to the soccer stadium to cheer them. And when I am travelling, I follow the results and news on the Internet. Since I was a kid, I've always cheered for them.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend?

A: No.

Q: Bjorn Borg, considered the greatest clay court player ever, won a record six French Open titles. You've won two, and you are only 24. Can you equal Borg's record?

A: It would be amazing to equal Borg's record. But I have to go one tournament and title at a time.

Q: Who are your toughest opponents?

A: I have beaten almost every player on the tour, but I have a big problem with (Dominic) Hrbaty. I don't know what it is. I don't know why I have never beaten him. I would say besides Sampras and Agassi (that) beating Kafelnikov is very tough because he is a complete player. He has all the shots and plays well on all surfaces.

Q: Last year you said, I don't want to be promoted. I am already too much promoted. I want to be unknown. Why did you say that?


A: I was joking when I said that.

Q: Please tell about your meeting with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil.

A: It was very nice. The president was hosting a Mercosul Meeting in a hotel in my hometown of Florianopolis last December. And we had a chance to meet for the first time. We were supposed to meet in 1997 after I won the French Open. But my younger brother (Guilherme) suffers from cerebral palsy, and he didn't feel well that day. So I ended up cancelling that meeting. This time I gave the president a racquet and taught him how to play tennis. He is definitely a big tennis fan.

Q: I learned you created a charity in your own name. Please tell me about it.

A: Last September I started my own institute, the Instituto Guga Kuerten. We give money to charities that help handicapped people and sports. My mother (Alice) is the president of the Institute. Its just beginning to grow. We started it so it would have a (famous) name and people would become aware of the Institute. We are starting to raise money and give it away.

Q: Are you involved in any other worthy causes?

A: Before I started the Institute, I donated $200 for every singles and doubles match I played to APAE. That is the Association of Parents and Friends of the Handicapped where my brother Guilherme goes every day. The money was used to build houses for the homeless handicapped. Even before I won the French Open, our whole family helped the poor and others in need. We took part in volunteer activities. Now we feel very good in being able to help even more. And we also think that if other people see what we are doing, maybe they will start helping, too.

Q: Are there any ATP or ITF rules or policies you would like to change to make tennis better or more exciting?

A: Play all the Grand Slams on clay! Seriously, you don't have to change the rules of the game to make it more exciting. Each player has his own interesting style, but the players should enjoy it a little more and try to be more relaxed on the court. They should also be closer to the crowd in matches and to the people in practice. They should not go there (tournaments) and just play and stay in the hotel and always try to avoid everyone. This will help tennis a lot.

PAUL FEIN

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Old 03-31-2004, 12:27 PM   #6
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Wow thanks for the article Claudia! I didn't know Guga was a common name in Brazil for Gustavo lol! it's also great to see him talk about his website and getting along well with Rafter!!!
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:46 PM   #7
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GUGA visited the doctor who operated it has two years, and is happy with the evolution Gustavo Kuerten initiated in this monday the training in squares, with the Larri technician Steps, for the season of gross sand, motivated with the results of examinations of routine and carried through physical tests in the last week, the United States and Florianópolis. In the Wednesday, day 14, when to travel for the Europe to compete in the four more important matches of the beaten land, the Masters Series de Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg, culminating with Roland Garros, Guga will again search a good one resulted in the places that had consecrated it. Two years after to have been submitted the artroscopia in the right hip (26 fev 2002), Guga visited the doctor that operated it, the Dr. Thomas Byrd, in Nashville, U.S.A. and came back toward house with the following report of the Doctor. Guga made a routine visit, at the time of the anniversary of two years of the artroscopia in the right hip. With its conditioning and training, it it continues to gain force, intensity and resistance. The hip of it is good and some times suffer a little from tendinite, what it is normal. It has it successfully controlled, through intensive cares and training in the structure of the place? With the compliments of the doctor, Guga will follow its routine of training and fisioterapia with the Mariângela physiotherapist Rasp, in search of a good result in the season of gross sand. visits to the Dr. Byrd was important to give an endorsement to me of that I follow making the things certain and to prove in plus this retorn that all the surgical part well was recouped. I go to continue making the work of daily allonge, that comes giving to an acquittal each bigger time to me and comes giving to the force and the resistance to me necessary pra to play well in the gross sand, said Guga, that already it felt an evolution in the matches that it disputed in this floor in 2004, gaining 9 of the 11 games that made and conquering the heading of Brazil Open and the vice-championship, in Viña del Sea. Currently it is the only player in activity already to have looser the call Grand Slam of the gross sand (the three Masters Series and Roland Garros) and the only one also in activity to be tricampeão of Roland Garros. Despite the resume of?Rei of the Gross sand, Guga knows that it will have great challenges of itself ahead. After all they are four matches of most difficult in a short space of time. But, it was for having a good season in the gross sand that it prepared and the results conquered recently, during the Funny Latin American, and the physical and cardiovascular evaluations had livened up it sufficiently. that the things are walking well. I feel myself with more force, I feel my resistance and intensity coming back and have great expectations for the season of gross sand. Since the surgery I did not obtain to come back to play well in the Europe and follow dedicating and strengtheing me to reach plus these objectives?
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:27 PM   #8
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Thanks spiiky, it´s nice to hear that Gugas hip is ok. I hope his optimism for the clay season is justified!
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the article Florencia!!!
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:11 PM   #10
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I found this article in Marca, not really a good new for you guys but I thought you may like to read it anyway:


EL BRASILEÑO NO ACABA DE RECUPERARSE DE UNA OPERACIÓN
La baja forma de Kuerten se debe a problemas físicos
El brasileño Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten no se ha recuperado plenamente de la operación en la cadera a la que se sometió en 2002, afirmó la fisioterapeuta Mariangela Pinheiro de Lima, responsable del tratamiento. Según Pinheiro de Lima, al triple campeón de Roland Garros no le falta motivación o le sobran problemas personales, como conjetura la prensa.

"El (Guga) no siente dolor, pero, por otro lado, algunos de sus movimientos quedaron comprometidos", añadió la especialista, que en noviembre pasado fue contratada por el mejor tenista brasileño de todos los tiempos.

"Un problema como ese acaba teniendo una influencia en varios aspectos. Compromete la velocidad, la fuerza muscular y el equilibrio", explicó la fisioterapeuta, que ha prescrito a Kuerten un tratamiento denominado Reequilibrio Toráxico Abdominal (RTA).

Tras la operación, el doctor Byrd recomendó a Guga permanecer inactivo "por lo menos" tres meses. Otros especialistas recomendaron hasta seis meses. Pero un mes y quince días después Guga comenzaba sus entrenamientos para un partido de dobles en Mallorca (España), en abril de 2002.

http://www.marca.com/edicion/noticia...468471,00.html
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Old 04-09-2004, 03:08 AM   #11
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from guga.com

GUGA KEEPS PRACTICING FOR THE EUROPEAN CLAY CORT SEASON

Fonte: EQUIPE GUGA


Gustavo Kuerten keeps practicing in Santa Catarina, with coach Larri Passos, for the European clay court season, beginning on April 19, with the Masters Series Monte Carlo.

Guga has been practicing with Andre Sa for the past few days, at the Larri Passos branch, where he stays until the day of his departure to Monaco, next Wednesday. Until then, he keeps his practice routine with coach Larri Passos and his physical therapy with therapist Mariangela Lima.

On Tuesday, Guga received a guest, journalist Juca Kfouri, at the Larri Passos branch, who recorded a long interview with three-time French Open champion. The one hour chat is the highlight on this Thursday’s “Cartão Verde” TV show, at TV Cultura, at 10:30 pm.

Before his trip to Europe, Guga will talk to the press.

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Old 04-15-2004, 05:03 PM   #12
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GUGA TRAVELS TO EUROPE WITH GOOD EXPECTATIONS FOR THE CLAY COURT SEASON

Fonte: EQUIPE GUGA


Three-time French Open champion, Gustavo Kuerten, arrives tomorrow in Europe, after two weeks of practice in Santa Catarina, to play his favorite tournaments of the year, with high expectations.

Guga’s first stop is at the ATP Masters Series in Monte Carlo, following then to the Trofeo Conde de Godo, in Barcelona, ATP Masters Series events in Rome and Hamburg and by the end of may he intends to be in top form to play at Roland Garros.

“I am feeling really good and excited to play these tournaments. I want to play the way I have always played, being aggressive all the time. These are my favorite tournaments of the year and I have had great success in all of them. I know that after the surgery, I faced a different reality and that last year I rushed things a little bit. I am facing these tournaments differently, knowing that in order to succeed I will have to play the same way I have played in the past, aggressive, happy and playing a risky game, even if I make some mistakes. I have good expectations, I played a lot of tennis during the Latin American circuit and as long as I return from this trip as happy as I am leaving, I will be satisfied. And this would be achieved with lots of victories and by having great moments too. From all these tournaments, obviously the French is my favorite and I am having a good preparation. Arriving in Paris with a good result would be great for my confidence. I will try to do the best I can, inspire myself and try to have two happy weeks that will be forever remembered, like I have had three times before,” said Guga, in a press conference, at his coaches’ academy, Larri Passos Tenis Pro, in Santa Catarina.

A national hero in Brazil, Guga also had to do a lot of talking about Davis Cup yesterday. Since he announced he wasn’t playing Davis Cup, more than a month ago – last weekend Brazil faced Paraguay, in Bahia – for not agreeing with the administration of the Brazilian National Federation, the subject became a national matter. Guga said that as long as Nelson Nastas is the President, he won’t be available to play.

His act was followed by other team members and, in a hope to see Guga back up, Nastas some weeks later announced that he would leave the Federation on May 15th and that new elections would be held the day after.

Guga didn’t change his mind and continued saying that he would only play if Nastas left before the tie was to be held. Even being criticized, he kept his point of view and after seeing Brazil lose poorly to Paraguay over the weekend, with a B team, and having to face Venezuela in July, he said that he wont change his mind if Nastas keeps in the power, specially because there is a lot of talk that the elections might not even happen.

“Each day more I am sure that I did the right thing when I decided not to play. Lots of people said I should play when Nelson announced he was leaving on May 15th and now they don’t even know if these elections are happening. Everything is very unclear. I am not a politician and I don’t know how these things work. What I do know is that I could be thinking only about myself and my career, but I am an idealist guy and the most active voice in tennis in Brazil and it is my duty to do something for my sport. I have been talking to a lot of juniors, upcoming players, coaches and even parents and everybody is unhappy. We need more tournaments here, not like the Masters Cup that they wanted to have here some years ago, we need Futures, Satelites, a place where everybody can practice. That is what we want from the new administration. During this weekend we could see the reality of our tennis. Everybody said that we lost because we had inexperienced players, but players aged 24, 25, can’t be inexperienced. They must be ready to play Davis Cup, to play five set matches. Everywhere else we see players aged 16, 17, having great results. That’s because they have the support of the federation, they practice with good players all the time, they have something behind them. I hope that things change here and that I can play Davis Cup again.”

Guga also talked about the rumors that he was retiring in 2005 and that he was still feeling pain in the hip.

“No, I am not retiring. The most important thing is that I love to play tennis, I love to compete and I love to come here everyday and practice. As long as I feel like this and I feel that I am able to play against the best players and have new challenges, I will be playing.”

About his hip he said that he visited Dr. Thomas Byrd, who operated on his right hip two years ago, in Nashville, United States, and said that the Dr. was very happy with what he saw. “He said that the bone structure is great and that he is very satisfied with what he saw. Obviously, like every athlete, who is giving 100% on court every day, I have a pain here, a pain there, but it is nothing if compared with what I felt before the surgery. I can say it is insignificant. I still feel a little weak in moving around and in the resistance area, but I am working very hard on it and on my goals of having a great clay court season.”
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Old 04-15-2004, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Guga also talked about the rumors that he was retiring in 2005 and that he was still feeling pain in the hip.

“No, I am not retiring. The most important thing is that I love to play tennis, I love to compete and I love to come here everyday and practice. As long as I feel like this and I feel that I am able to play against the best players and have new challenges, I will be playing.”
Glad to hear that!
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:38 AM   #14
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http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennis...&bannerregion=

Guga Refutes Retirement Rumors
By Adrianna Outlaw
04/16/2004

Some players wear their hearts on their sleeves, Gustavo Kuerten continues to craft his heart on the court. The charismatic Kuerten, who celebrated his third French Open championship by carving a heart on the red clay or Roland Garros, said playing tennis remains his primary passion.

Responding to rumors that he is contemplating retirement next year, the former No. 1 stated he has no plans to conclude his competitive career in the near future and will continue to play as long as he has a love of the game.

"No, I am not retiring," Kuerten told the media in a press conference conducted at his coach's academy, Larri Passos Tennis Pro, in Santa Catarina yesterday. "The most important thing is that I love to play tennis, I love to compete and I love to come here everyday and practice. As long as I feel like this and I feel that I am able to play against the best players and have new challenges, I will be playing."

One competition he will not be playing is Davis Cup.

The 27-year-old Kuerten has been a vocal critic of the Brazilian Tennis Federation for its failure to develop young players and provide established players with a voice in Federation decisions. Kuerten and several of his former Davis Cup teammates — including Flavio Saretta, Andre Sa — declared their discontent by declining to play in last weekend's 3-2 loss to Paraguay in Bahia, Brazil in protest over the Federation's policies. Kuerten made it clear he will not play Davis Cup as long as Nelson Nastas remains Federation president. Nastas announced he would step down from his post on May 15th and that new elections to fill the Federation's administration would be held the next day, but rumors persist that the elections will not be held.

The current state of Brazilian tennis has convinced Kuerten his boycott of Brazil's Davis Cup team was warranted. Kuerten made it clear he will not participate in the July Davis Cup tie against Venezuela unless Nastas honors his promise to resign his post.

"Each day more I am sure that I did the right thing when I decided not to play," Kuerten said. "Lots of people said I should play when Nelson announced he was leaving on May 15th and now they don’t even know if these elections are happening. Everything is very unclear. I am not a politician and I don’t know how these things work. What I do know is that I could be thinking only about myself and my career, but I am an idealist guy and the more active voice in tennis in Brazil and is my duty to do something for my sport."

Stressing that the Federation must build a sound foundation for Brazilian tennis by hosting more tournaments and establishing a central national training facility, Kuerten claims the current administration has failed to fully support Brazilian players at all levels.

"I have been talking to a lot to juniors, upcoming players, coaches and even parents and everybody is unhappy. We need more tournaments here, not like the Masters Cup that they wanted to have here some years ago, we need futures, satellites, a place where everybody can practice," Kuerten said. "That is what we want from the new administration. During this weekend we could see the reality of our tennis. Everybody said that we lost because we had inexperienced players, but players aged 24, 25, can’t be inexperienced. They must be ready to play Davis Cup, to play five set matches. Every where else we see players aged 16, 17, having great results. That’s because they have the support of the federation, they practice with good players all the time, they have something behind them. I hope that things change here and that I can play Davis Cup again."

The 22nd-ranked Brazilian, who underwent surgery on his right hip in February of 2002, said he still feels some pain in his hip, but characterized it as "insignificant" compared to the pain he felt before the surgery. Kuerten said Dr. Thomas Byrd, who performed the surgery in Nashville, recently examined his hip again and was pleased with what he saw.

"He said that the bone structure is great and that he is very satisfied with what he saw," Kuerten said. "Obviously, like every athlete, who is giving 100 percent on court every day, I have a pain here, a pain there, but it is nothing if compared with what I felt before the surgery. I can say it is insignificant. I still feel a little weak in moving around and in the resistance area, but I am working very hard on it and on my goals of having a great clay court season."

Playing with greater confidence on his favorite surface this season, Kuerten has reached the finals of two of the three clay-court events he's played this season. He lost to Fernando Gonzalez in the Vina del Mar final in February, but bounced back to beat Agustin Calleri, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, to claim his 20th career championship in Costa Do Sauipe, Brazil. A former finalist at both the Pacific Life Open and Nasdaq-100 Open, Kuerten did not win a match at either Masters Series hard court event last month, and is eager to regain his rhythm on clay.

The two-time Monte Carlo champion has committed to a complete clay-court schedule, starting at next week's Tennis Masters Series-Monte Carlo, followed by the Trofeo Conde de Godo in Barcelona, and consecutive Tennis Masters Series tournaments in Rome and Hamburg in preparation for Roland Garros. Eager and enthusiastic about the clay-court season, Kuerten is convinced he must play with positive emotion and take more chances on court if he is to reproduce the form he's shown on clay in the past.

"I am feeling really good and excited to play these tournaments. I wanna play like I have always played, being aggressive all the time," Kuerten said. "These are my favorite tournaments of the year and I have had great success in all of them. I know that after the surgery I faced a different reality and that last year I rushed things a little bit. I am facing these tournaments differently, knowing that in order to succeed I will have to play the same way I have played in the past, aggressive, happy and playing a risky game, even if I make some mistakes. I have good expectations, I played a lot of tennis during the Latin American circuit and as long as I return from this trip as happy as I am leaving, I will be satisfied. And this would be achieved with lots of victories and by having great moments too."

The champion who poured his heart out in Paris says Roland Garros will always hold a special place in his heart.

"From all these tournaments obviously the French is my favorite and I am having a good preparation," Kuerten said. "Arriving in Paris with a good result would be great for my confidence. I will try to do the best I can, inspire myself and try to have two happy weeks that will be forever remembered, like I have had three times before."

Tennis Week thanks Diana Gabanyi, Kuerten’s hard-working publicist and surrogate older sister, for providing an English translation of his comments.

Yes, Diana is the best Thanks for taking care of Guga all these years.
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:42 AM   #15
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Thanks for the great articles Lee! I'm in a so good mood right now!
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