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Old 09-30-2009, 06:24 PM   #406
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GUGA AND AGASSI TOGETHER IN ORDER TO INCREASE THEIR SOCIAL PROJECTS



Guga and Agassi after the meeting in Las Vegas.

A meeting between Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Agassi, last weekend in Las Vegas, allowed the exchange of experiences between two Grand Slam champions, both were already the number one of ATP ranking. The meeting subject involved tennis, sport that identifies themselves, but in a different concept. In fact Guga and Agassi talked about their social institutes, placed respectively in Florianopolis (South Brazil) and Las Vegas, organizations that were created as a consequence of their careers as tennis players.

Guga went to Las Vegas with the purpose to know how Agassi Foundation, raised in 1994, works in order to offer educational opportunities to youth people at-risk. Seven years later the winner of eight Grand Slam opened the Andre Agassi Preparatory Academy (Agassi Prep) that attends 630 children and teenagers from kindergarten to high school. Last June Agassi Prep celebrated the graduation of 34 students that by this time are studying in American colleges.

The work developed by Guga Kuerten Institute (IGK) also was on focus. Guga explained Agassi how IGK benefits students from public schools and disabled people in Santa Catarina, state in South Brazil were Gustavo Kuerten was born. Founded in 2000, IGK works with a special target: reduce the social differences by promoting social inclusion, working with sports as a strategic to make children and teenagers assistance by IGK to reach this goal.

Besides the meeting Gustavo Kuerten also took part in the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation´s Grand Slam, last Saturday night. The event that happens every year raises funds for the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

Gustavo Kuerten and Luciano Faustino, marketing director of Guga Kuerten enterprise, in the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation´s Grand Slam for Children Benefit Concert.

Source: http://www.guga.com/noticias/2009-09...ocial-projects
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:32 PM   #407
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Kuerten to be honoured by Brazilian president

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...ive-Award.aspx
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:22 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by Zirconek View Post
Kuerten to be honoured by Brazilian president

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...ive-Award.aspx
Thanks Edu!

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:06 PM   #409
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GUGA KUERTEN WEEK: AWARD AS THE BEST YOUTH-TENNIS TOURNAMENT IN BRAZIL

Brazilian Tennis Confederation has chosen the event that empowered play+stay in the city Guga was born

Kids playing tennis all over the city Guga was born, Florianópolis, practicing in courts made especially for this purpose in malls and in the most popular spots of the city, following ITF recommendation. It happened in June during Guga Kuerten Week that has won today (12/07) the prize as the best youth-tennis tournament by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation.

The event, sponsored by Banco do Brazil, began in the same day as the Roland Garros final. So the three-times champion in France could watch the game with the kids and Larri Passos, his ex-coach. He also was able to remember his first conquest in Grand Slam. Guga had invited Sergi Bruguera to play a exhibition with him that took place in a clay court constructed for this matter in a place dedicated to Carnival Shows (Passarela do Samba). Five thousand people had watched Guga winning once more Bruguera. The game was showed too in Brazilian TVs for all the country.

Guga Kuerten Cup has brought to Florianópolis 376 youth tennis players from 23 Brazilian States. The champions received wild card to play Futures in Brazil, tennis camp in Harvard and Stanford, and scholarship to graduate programs in American universities. The conquest will happen next year in August, from 22th to 29th, just a week before US Open.

The former ex-number one was represented in São Paulo by his manager, Luciano Faustino, he could not receive the prize because he had another appointment. Guga was the host of a Government event this night in Florianópolis, he helped Luiz Henrique da Silveira, Governor of Santa Catarina, to give the Gustavo Kuerten Award of Excellence in Olympics Sports to local athletes and associations.

Source: http://www.guga.com/noticias/2009-12...ment-in-brazil
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:07 PM   #410
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Champions For Chile A Rousing Success

Miami, USA
03.04.2010



Champions For Chile raised $125,000 for Chilean earrthquake relief efforts.

Fernando Gonzalez, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, and Gustavo Kuerten came together on the purple courts of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami for a fun-filled night of tennis, but with a serious focus. As the doubles match concluded, the ‘Champions for Chile’ event had raised funds in excess of $125,000 for disaster relief in Chile, with donations still being accepted.

On February 27 a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck the Maule Region of Chile with the epicenter roughly 200 miles southwest of Santiago. The devastation was enormous causing an estimated $30 billion in damage, killing more than 400 and leaving about 800,000 homeless.

A native of Santiago, Gonzalez skipped the BNP Paribas earlier this month to return home, view the damage, and lend support. On his experience in his homeland, Gonzalez reflected, “The people are scared. They have no faith. Some people lost family. Most of the people lost houses, jobs, everything. They have nothing.”

During the match, the tennis pros traded volleys and jokes while entertaining the crowd. Tennis great Mary Joe Fernandez was on hand serving as chair umpire, and Spanish television icon Don Francisco participated in the coin toss ceremony before the match.

When Roddick heard of his friend’s efforts and that he was thinking of doing a fundraising event in Miami, the idea was born. The two reached out to their friends Jim Courier and Gustavo Kuerten, who were happy to come to Miami to support their friends’ cause.

Courier commented, “Tennis is one big family, and we're good about supporting each other. Initiatives like this in a time of crisis, we're lucky we have a platform to raise money and raise awareness.”

Kuerten added, “The cause was the most important thing. It motivated me to come out here. I love being involved in causes like this, so for me, it was a great opportunity.”

At the conclusion of the event, the players, Fernandez, Francisco, and Sony Ericsson Open Tournament Director Adam Barrett presented a check to Benito Baranda, the Social Director of Hogar de Christo, the charity benefiting from the event.

A special thanks is extended to the ATP World Tour, SAP, Sony Ericsson, LAN, ITAU, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, and Citi for their generous donation of time and resources to make this such a sensational event.

Source: http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/News...For-Chile.aspx
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:43 PM   #411
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It's so sad that Guga's homepage isn't available in English anymore Unfortunately I don't speak any Portuguese and therefore don't understand what's written on there

He has so many fans all around the world that it would be really great if the site would offer news in English as well again
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:34 PM   #412
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Kuerten To Be Inducted To The International Tennis Hall Of Fame

Newport, U.S.A.

08.03.2012


Gustavo Kuerten won three Roland Garros titles.

One of Brazil’s most beloved and successful athletes, Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten, has been elected to receive the highest honor in the sport of tennis– induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Kuerten was the world’s No. 1 player for 43 non-consecutive weeks, and he is a three-time major tournament champion, having captured French Open titles in 1997, 2000, and 2001. Kuerten’s induction was announced today in a special presentation in São Paulo at the offices of Banco do Brasil, a long-time sponsor of the tennis champion. The 2012 Induction Ceremony will be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14, 2012 in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States.

"During my career in tennis I was fortunate to have many victories, but the Hall of Fame induction is amazing, a special one," declared Kuerten. "I was inspired by lots of great tennis players, like Maria Esther Bueno, who is here celebrating with me today, and Thomas Koch, two of the biggest Brazilian tennis players. Also I greatly admire Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, and Agassi."

"Probably one of my greatest accomplishments was being able to get Brazilians excited about tennis, and to elevate the attention for Brazil as a tennis nation."

Kuerten, 35, has been elected in the Recent Player Category. Additional members of the Class of 2012, who were previously announced, include Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes, in the Master Player Category; tennis administrator and promoter Mike Davies in the Contributor Category; and Randy Snow, who has been elected posthumously in the Recent Player Category for his accomplishments as a wheelchair tennis player. The remainder of the Class of 2012 will be announced in the month ahead.

"King of the clay courts, Guga was one of the most popular players of his era, and he achieved tremendous success during a time when some of the greatest players in history were active, including Hall of Famers Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Michael Chang," said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. "On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Enshrinee Nominating Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I extend sincere congratulations to Guga on this well-deserved honor. We look forward to celebrating with him and all of the Class of 2012 inductees in July."

With Kuerten’s 1997 win at Roland Garros, he became the first Brazilian to win a major singles title since Hall of Famer Maria Bueno’s 1966 U.S. Nationals victory. En route to the win he overcame three past champions of the event, and became the second-lowest ranked Grand Slam champion at the time (No. 66). In addition to his French Open titles, he reached the quarterfinals at the French Open in 1999 and 2004, and was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in 1999, at the US Open in 1999 and 2001, and at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In 2000, Kuerten became the first South American to finish No. 1 in the history of the ATP World Tour rankings (since they began in 1973). The No. 1 year-end position came down to the final match of season for the first time in men's tennis history, which Kuerten won with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over Andre Agassi, breaking an eight-year reign of No. 1 finishes by Americans.

In the year 2000, inspired by his late brother, Guilherme, who had cerebral palsy, Kuerten opened the Institute Guga Kuerten to help disabled people. The institute is located in Kuerten’s hometown of Florianopolis, Brazil, and since its inception, it has assisted more than 40,000 people in over 168 Brazilian cities. While he was playing, Kuerten presented every one of his tournament trophies, including the French Open trophies, to Guilherme. Kuerten was awarded the ATP World Tour’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2003, and in 2010, he was honored with the Philippe Chatrier Award by the International Tennis Federation. Currently, he works in order to win a new challenge: to support the social activities developed by Institute Guga Kuerten.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring its greatest champions and contributors. Induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame is based on the sum of one’s achievements and accomplishments in tennis, and is the highest honor a player or leader in the sport can receive. Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 220 people from 19 countries. Kuerten is the second Brazilian to be inducted, joining 1978 Hall of Famer Maria Bueno. The other South Americans who have received the honor are Gabriela Sabatini and Guillermo Vilas of Argentina, Pancho Segura of Ecuador, and Alex Olmedo of Peru.

Eligibility & Voting
Inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame are elected in the categories of Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor.

Kuerten has been elected to the Hall of Fame in the Recent Player Category. Eligibility criteria for this category is as follows: active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP or WTA Tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

A panel of International Tennis Media vote on the Recent Player Category. A 75% favorable vote is required for induction.

Induction Ceremony

The Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on July 14 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for that day include seats for the Induction Ceremony and the tournament semi-finals, and tickets are available now on tennisfame.com or by phone at 866-914-FAME (2363).

Source:
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Ten...l-Of-Fame.aspx
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:32 AM   #413
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Newport's Newest: An Interview with Gustavo Kuerten

Gustavo Kuerten delivered a famed French Open valentine in 2001. After fighting off a match point in a fourth-round win over American Michael Russell, Kuerten carved a huge heart on the red clay to show his appreciation to the*fans in a memorable Kuerten call. His heart-felt emotions were on display again today, as Kuerten’s eyes welled with tears during a press conference*in Brazil to announce his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14.



The three-time French Open champion was the first South American to ever hold the year-end No. 1 rank, and was selected as one of the 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era by TENNIS Magazine in 2007.

“It’s amazing to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” the 35-year-old Brazilian known as 'Guga' said. “Probably one of my greatest accomplishments was being able to get Brazilians excited about tennis, and to elevate the attention for Brazil as a tennis nation.”

Guga's gangly grace made him look like someone about to break into a spontaneous samba. The high-bouncing topspin drives he delivered off his brilliant groundstrokes (Kuerten was one of the first champions to use Luxilon strings, which helped usher in the heavy spin era), the way he bounced around the court as if playing to the beat of music, and his trademark headband that kept his unruly halo of hair somewhat in place made him one of the most distinctive stylists of his era. It also won him a legion of devoted fans, many of whom, clad in Brazilian colors, would bang on drums, blow horns, and dance in the aisles during his matches.

Kuerten was one of the few players capable of turning a singles match into the feel of a group festival. Perhaps that’s because tennis is truly a family affair for Kuerten. His father, Aldo, a former amateur player, introduced him to tennis but died of a heart attack while umpiring a junior match when Guga was just eight years old. Guga gave every trophy he ever won to his biggest fan, younger brother Guilherme, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe physical disability, and served as an inspiration to his big brother. Guilherme Kuerten died in 2007. Mother Alice Kuerten raised three sons (Guga’s older brother Rafael was his business manager) and is president of the Gustavo Kuerten Institute, which the family founded in 2000 to benefit the*disabled.

Kuerten, who lives in his native Florianopolis, is the proud father of a one-month old daughter, Maria, and spends much of his time pursuing his charitable causes, including a school he’s opened as well as promoting tennis in Brazil. He spoke with us today, after the big announcement.

TENNIS.com: Guga, what does induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame mean to you?

Gustavo Kuerten: It’s a great honor—perhaps the highest honor in tennis. Watching the video of my career they showed today brings me back to my first memories of being on the court. It brings me back to my father who took me to the tennis court when I was six years old. He taught me to have big dreams, but I did not have any idea of what a career in tennis could be until I was 16 or 17 years old. I don’t consider it the end of the line. I am very involved in tennis and I will find a way to give back to tennis.

TENNIS.com: Your father and younger brother both passed away. Your mother raised the family as a single parent after your father's death. How did your family inspire you?

Gustavo Kuerten: If you look at my history, I really had a very small chance [of succeeding as a pro player]. When I start to play the game, tennis was very rare in Brazil. In Florianopolis, we did not have more than five tennis courts in the 1980s. So if not for the support and push of my father, I never would have made it. My father was and still is the biggest inspiration of my life even losing him at an early age. My mother is also my greatest inspiration. My mother took on this incredible responsibility of raising a family by herself. Everyone in my family was an example to me: The bravery of my mother, the will of my handicapped brother to always try to overcome limitations and to truly appreciate the simple things in life, the sense of calm my older brother provided me, and my coach, Larri [Passos], who taught me how to be competitive and never give up. I got massive inspiration from a lot of people, who gave me the spirit to face everything that faced me. Even though some experiences were very sad, such as losing my father on the tennis court, I believe every experience helps us to build something greater in us. For me, this love of tennis became like an obsession, and my family inspired me and gave me qualities to achieve things.

TENNIS.com: What do you think were key qualities that made you a a champion?

Gustavo Kuerten: I think I have technically a mix of weapons that I could use in different situations. I could use my serve very well to be aggressive when I needed. I don’t believe I ever got to play my best tennis because of my hip surgeries. I think my best weapon was probably my mental part; the way that I approached the game. I was never too upset or too stressed when I lost. If I did not have a solution on court, I would practice to find one. It may sound strange, but the thing that matters to me more than the power or spin was the way I faced the game, the relation I created to tennis and to people. I loved taking tennis more close to people, not just as a No. 1 player but as a human being. The connection to the people was very important to me. I was lucky that people all over the world received me so well. I needed that support and I appreciate it.

TENNIS.com: What were your most meaningful moments in tennis?

Gustavo Kuerten: There are many. If I had to choose two, one is the 2000 Tennis Masters Cup. I had maybe a five percent chance of becoming No. 1 when it started, and after losing the first match, I had problems with my back and did not know if I could finish. I was able to turn it all around and win on a surface that was not my best to become No. 1, and for the first time to be able to speak to people in Portuguese after the final was really the best thing I could ever do in my career. [Editor's Note: The tournament was held in Lisbon.] The other was 2001 Roland Garros, the day I draw the heart on court against Michael Russell. It wasn’t the final, but emotionally it was the happiest day of my career. The connection between the public and myself touched me very much. A simple act to show my appreciation for the people, for tennis and for that emotional moment will stay with me forever.

TENNIS.com: Which rival did you most enjoy playing and who was your toughest opponent?

Gustavo Kuerten: The ones I enjoyed playing most were Marat [Safin], [Yevgeny] Kafelnikov and Andre [Agassi]. I played each of them more than five times and normally winning and losing depended on the situation. Perhaps Agassi was the one I played more and it was very challenging and exciting to play Andre. For most of my biggest titles, I had to face Kafelnikov on the way and he could be like a lucky charm or an obstacle in the tournament that I had to pass through. I have to say the toughest and scariest opponent was Pete [Sampras]. When I played him the first time I forgot to volley. And then when I faced him in Tennis Masters Cup in Lisbon, I really didn't know how I could find any way to beat a player as great as Pete, but facing great players can make you a better player.

TENNIS.com: Do you watch tennis now and does any current player remind you of yourself?

Gustavo Kuerten: I love to watch tennis and I am very enthusiastic to see the level of tennis played now. I believe [Novak] Djokovic has the game that is perhaps most close to mine among these players. The tennis he is showing is taking the game to another level, and I like that he is showing his emotion and showing how physically you have to be strong and be a complete player and do everything on court. I think tennis is really in a fantastic place right now and I enjoy watching it very much.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:37 AM   #414
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Kuerten, who lives in his native Florianopolis, is the proud father of a one-month old daughter, Maria
Congratulations Guga!
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:50 PM   #415
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Thank you for posting the interview Lee

It's always interesting to hear from Guga especially considering that it doesn't happen that often. I didn't even knew that his wife was pregnant.

Congrats to the proud parents for their little sunshine

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #416
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Still Guga

by Pete Bodo

Miami — Gustavo Kuerten, the first men's Grand Slam champion from Brazil, three-time French Open champion and former No. 1, will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this summer.

When he met with the press yesterday he was asked how he felt about it, and he admitted that the honor was unexpected. “First, that soon was kind of surprise for me. *I just finish playing three, almost four years ago. The time flies, eh? Seems like it was yesterday.”

He makes a good point, but let’s keep in mind that "Guga" played — tried to play, given the debilitating injuries that marred and curtailed his career — for four-and-a-half years after he won his third and last title at Roland Garros in 2001.

Kuerten won three French Open titles in five years, which may not rival Rafael Nadal’s record but it was the best since the heyday of Ivan Lendl and eclipsed the stats of some extremely high-value clay-court names, including (Guillermo) Vilas, (Jim) Courier, (Sergi) Bruguera, and (Thomas) Muster. In the Open era, only Lendl, Mats Wilander and *Bjorn Borg won three or more French Opens before Guga.

So I had to ask: is does Kuerten celebrate or regret the fact that he doesn’t have to match the era of Roger Federer, Nadal, and Novak Djokovic?

Guga laughed, and tugged the bright yellow trucker’s cap a little lower over his brow. He admitted, “A little bit of both. . .”

But his thoughts on the subject were classic Guga, and go a long way toward explaining why he was always such a beloved figure.

"I'm happy mostly because I truly believe that these guys that I considered some genius, they are better than the best to have. *They are one of the best ever. Perhaps Djokovic still (needs) a little bit more time for us to be sure of this. *But Rafa and Roger, they are completely one of the best five players all times.

"I think I contribute on this way — even knowing that they are like kind of super heroes, they are very * *they have the access for the people. *They are around. *You can feel them more close to a human being. . . I*think that was a big contribution that I did to bring the tennis a little bit more close to humanity, you know, more easy to understand for all classes around.*

"In Brazil, for me it's a great pleasure *when I see guys (who) sometimes have a hard time to write or to count, and they know 15-30, 30-All, break point.”

We all laughed at this. Guga continued:

“It's hard to understand how it's possible, but right now I can go this deep and feel this pleasure of (my) *contribution to tennis. So that's why these guys I think would be great for me. *(It) would be amazing time to be connected with them. . . (tennis) is becoming more popular every year. . . We are not only talking about (just) the class A or rich guys. *We are talking about regular people that seen on them an inspiration and a person that’s more touchable.”

About Rafa’s frozen-rope forehand, Roger’s wasp-ish serve, or Nole’s hammer throw backhand Guga had nothing to say. That he was able to create such a stunning resume with his sensibility is a great achievement; right up there with having won three majors.

edit: sorry for all those *s. Somehow my copy and paste add them to the article.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:03 PM   #417
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March 25, 2012


An interview with:

GUSTAVO KUERTEN

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

So it's such an honor to have you in the Hall of Fame. What can you tell us about that?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: First, that soon was kind of surprise for me. I just finish playing three, almost four years ago. The time flies, eh? Seems like it was yesterday.
But once I got to know, it was like a big emotion to over the years, getting deep in good times, hard times I had on my way through.
A great influence from my father that I had in the beginning, even knowing that it was for a short term of my life. I think is more enjoyable right now, because I can understand better my career and the impact that I could bring to tennis.
So it was pretty happy. Became my special, very special years since I just got my first baby and being accepted to the Hall of Fame. So could not be better.

When you do look back, is there one moment that you think tells the whole story of your career? Is there one special moment, do you imagine, that you can reflect on?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think the immediate reflection is hard to understand how this really happen.
If I start to look at the facts, it's basically 100 or 1000 of you can call coincidence or lucky or fact that happen to be able to get this far.
Perhaps of course the crucial one, the main one was to lose my father in the tennis court. This could be a drama for me to just get out of any closet and then tennis.
So since I have this experience very early, I think that what we did well was I learned from that time being able to take advantage even on hard situations.
So doesn't matter. I remember around 17, one week before getting tests in Brazil, we have to do tests to be able to go to university my mother is still waiting for me to go to university (Laughter.)
I have to undercover her, don't let her know that I would not doing the test, you know. Then I call her four days before. I call her from Argentina, No, mom. Mom, I am not coming back. Forget. She want me to be a doctor until 17 years old.
So it just kind of 100 or 1000 situations like this, and that's why it feels great flavor. I pass over I believe most situations, but a player can pass I never get a step forward without passing all these stages.
Only once I got when I won the French Open on '97 that I really like overpass a couple of stage. But until that time I played all the juniors, I played all the satellites, I played even team tennis. I did everything in my career.
So it brings you a really special feeling once you have all these experience on your back.

When you look at the top three players today, are you happy you stopped playing or do you wish you were playing so you could try that?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: A little bit of both (laughter.)
I'm happy mostly because I truly believe that these guys that I considered some genius, they are better than the best to have. They are one of the best ever.
Perhaps Djokovic still a little bit more have time for us to be sure of this. But Rafa and Roger, they are completely one of the best five players all times.
I think I contribute on this way. Even knowing that they are like kind of super heros, they are very they have the access for the people. They are around. You can feel them more close to a human being.
If you go outside, perhaps they can believe they can play the same as them even though it's impossible. I think that was a big contribution that I did to bring the tennis a little bit more close to humanity, you know, more easy to understand than all classes around.
In Brazil, for me it's a great pleasure for me when I see guys sometimes having hard time to write or to count, and they know 15 30, 30 All, break point. (Laughter.)
It's hard to understand how it's possible, but right now I can go this deep and feel this pleasure of contribution to tennis.
So that's why these guys I think would be great for me. Would be amazing time to be connected with them and be related of these special moments to tennis.
I believe on this, it's like a golden era again. We can compare perhaps for another time it happens on Connors, McEnroe, Borg.
But it's really a circumstance that tennis, it's becoming more popular every year. I believe much more on this way. We are not only talking about the class A or rich guys. We are talking about regular people that seen on them an inspiration and a person that it's more touchable.

You obviously are remembered for your Roland Garros. Do you feel yourself you made another step by winning the ATP finals in Lisbon, not on clay, and if you hadn't been injured you would have been able to go on and play at that level on hard surfaces, as well?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Yeah. This was perhaps the last step through I did. Either in 2001 I still went a little bit farther than that, but I was a little far away from my best, that's for sure.
Once I got to that stage, I was playing I had myself comfortable to play in different surface. The tour was going in a way that would give me advantage, you know, to bring the game a little bit slower, with surface more equal.
And to have a good example, I played first time on and this was one year before against Pete. On Hannover I lost 6 1, 6 2, and one year later I could beat him. One of my best matches ever.
So I can only in my imagination but I can see very easily that my game would have developed a lot, even on clay, and I'm sure in different surface.
For me, will always be a pity that I didn't have these opportunities the same way as I thought at the beginning. Was too much farther than I can still right now can believe it.
So it's a conflict there, but I prefer to look on the positive way.

Five years ago in this tournament you played doubles with Kei Nishikori, and back then he was 17 years old and his ranking was around 600. Now he is 16 in the world. What do you remember from that doubles match? Any thoughts on his achievement?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I could see he would be at least top 50, top 30 player on that time. He played already in a good level. He's very talent, as he's showing right now. Just depending of how far he want to go. I think he can go still a little bit more. He will have to work hard, develop a lot.
But as I saw before, he was very focused, good discipline to play, understanding the game.
So it's not a surprise for me that he breakthrough to that far.

You played with Luxilon string. What do you think it did for you and for the game?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Three French Open, one Masters Cup (smiling). It gave me a lot, so much. I believe I was the first to have on this gray one. Albert Costa start with the purple. It's a little bit more thick.
I played the thinner one on this gray. I remember little farther on, 1999 or 2000, that Agassi was complaining. If he could not adapt himself to play Luxilon, he would ask ATP to forbid this string because he could feel it not so good, but sometimes it doesn't fits to your game.
So this was a funny story about it, but I think it bring the it brought the game to a different level. That's for sure.

Simple question: Why do you love playing tennis?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: Why do I love playing tennis? Because the relation, I think love you have maintaining. It's not you just love and it is like this.
Every day you have like a flower. You have to go there, put some water, have to appreciate it, what's around it. I start to understand the game and loving the competition around and being by myself at the court, traveling.
The only hard thing for me on tennis, it's massive competition as everybody is trying to reduce now. We are playing too much for too long all the time. This is hard, especially for a Brazilian who has to be out of the continent for 80% of the year.
But even the relation with the crowd, how to appear in the central court with thousand, thousand of people, every single thing I was able to adapt myself. I just like and then love, and it's maintaining like this.
Hopefully it can continue. I don't play more than three, four matches a year because my physical condition, but still once I'm in the tennis courts, always great feels.

So you start talking about your father, and he was a great influence for you. And you have, you know, both of your brothers in the beginning. You had your coach, Larri Passos. How much was all this important for you to have all that support? What's the role in your career?

GUSTAVO KUERTEN: It was crucial. I have these typical Brazilian culture and customs. I'm very related to our way of living, and it's very social. I had to create a formula to bring more people to the court when I was playing.
So I had the feeling even being by myself at the tennis court I have the feeling of the support of everybody, of being fulfilled with many different persons.
And these ones that you just spoke are the ones more important to my life, on the court and outside of the court. So this I couldn't never manage to get through without them.
That's why even at the beginning I was very clear on a way of distribute my achievements, my titles, to the people surround me.
Because as a Brazilian, being individual and just to feel the flavor by yourself, that's no fun at all.

Source: http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/News...-25-March.aspx
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RIO OPEN PRESENTED BY CLARO HDTV 2014

Kuerten Honoured In Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

by ATP Staff | 21.02.2014

Gustavo Kuerten was honoured at the Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv on Thursday. Guga received a commemorative plaque from World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, before a ball boy and a ball girl repeated the gesture immortalised by Kuerten after a 2001 Roland Garros fourth round match. The children drew a heart around the Florianopolis resident and the three lay down on the clay court much to the delight of the capacity crowd.

Thirteen years ago, Kuerten fought back from two sets down and a 3-5 deficit to beat Russell 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-1. Inspired by the performance, Kuerten went on to lift his third Roland Garros title by beating Alex Corretja in the final.

Kuerten, who retired from professional tennis in 2008, was moved by the presentation. “I have just thought about exchanging a few rallies with Nadal, but I was very emotional and forgot to ask him,” said Kuerten. “It is amazing to be honoured in my country. Thank you, Rafa, for making this moment even more special. It is a privilege to be embraced by hundreds of people at the same time. It was a very good sensation [and] unforgettable. That motivates me to contribute more to tennis, to give back all the affection.”
Kuerten came on to Center Court after Nadal’s 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow Spaniard Albert Montanes. Nadal said, “Guga is one of the best players I have seen on clay. If we had played a match, it would have been really interesting. He did something very difficult, to be the first in a country to do something [be No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, win Roland Garros and the 2001 Tennis Masters Cup – now named Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.


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