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Old 04-27-2005, 10:12 PM   #121
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Thanks Vanessa It's great to see someone who believes like us!!!
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Old 05-18-2005, 02:49 AM   #122
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Guga refuses to give up

By Matthew Cronin
Special to ESPN.com
Archive





Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten might look the part of a laid-back surfer when he's riding the cool waves at home in Florianopolis, Brazil, but the 28-year-old has put his board away as he attempts to rediscover the colorful, high-flying game that once brought him to the world's top ranking.

A three-time French Open champion, Kuerten still feels the need to streak down the pipeline in pursuit of further glory.

"That's the blood keeps you living," Kuerten told ESPN.com last week. "That's what makes you wake up and be enthusiastic and give your best. That's the way I like to live. I could have easily retired, went home and enjoyed life in Brazil. But I love to play tennis. My personal challenge is to feel better, enjoy the game and play like I did before."

Last year, Kuerten underwent his second hip surgery. No one has come back to a top level after one hip surgery, let alone two. But Kuerten was dissatisfied with his level after his first surgery in early 2002 and doctors told him he had an outside chance of regaining his once sterling form if he had a second one. Without it, elite play was out of the question. Despite his bubbly, seemingly carefree personality, the Brazilian can't bear being a second-tier player.

"I took my chances," he said. "It was my only chance to play like before. I'm not 100 percent sure if it will work out, but it gave me hope. I didn't want to keep playing with my ranking in the 20s or 30s. I'm not saying I need to get back to No. 1, but I want to be able to play free, enjoy it and not just be thinking about my hip.

"There are two ways of thinking. One is that I could still expect to get more from my career and to be satisfied and not having goals is not going to help me. The second is to be proud and appreciate everything I got so far.

"Before I arrived on tour, if anyone would have told me that I would have won three Grand Slams and be No. 1, I wouldn't have believed them. I have to keep that idea in my mind, but it's not easy to maintain that. I must have more goals to push myself farther."

Since he stunned the planet by entering the 1997 French Open as the No. 66-ranked player and whipping two-time champ Sergi Bruguera for the title, Guga has been the clay-court major's most dominant and beloved player. He repeated in 2000 by pummeling upstart Juan Carlos Ferrero in the semis and tough Magnus Norman in the final.

The next year, he completed his hat trick and forever etched himself into Parisian memory. In the fourth round, he came back from two sets and a match point down against qualifier Michael Russell. Afterward, he drew a large heart in the clay and collapsed in the middle of it. He was simply heroic, and the fans loved it.

No one could withstand the magician after that. Kuerten spellbound the other contenders: former champ Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Ferrero and, in the final, war-horse Alex Corretja. Guga joined legends and Hall of Famers Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander as the only men to win three singles French titles in the Open era. Guga was as good as gold.

But after failing to defend his top seed at the 2001 U.S. Open by losing in the quarterfinals, Kuerten began to feel serious pain in his right hip. Five months later, he underwent hip surgery. Though he has shown flashes of brilliance, his still sometimes painful hip kept him from soaring sideline to sideline, pasting winners down the line.

In April 2004, he reinjured his hip and rested until the French Open. There, he briefly displayed the level that once made him the Prince of Paris. He served huge, flew high and overwhelmed No. 1 Roger Federer in a third-round upset. With Guga's sudden return to domination, the thought of him winning his fourth title seemed possible. But in his next match, against David Nalbandian, Guga – suffering a power and speed outage – was sent reeling out of the tournament.

"I was having these type of problems for three and half years," Kuerten said. "I could play my best, like I did against Federer, but in the next match, it didn't matter who I was playing, I didn't have my conditioning and I would basically lose to myself. I couldn't maintain my enthusiasm for two weeks because physically I couldn't maintain. If I had 20 to 30 percent more in my conditioning, I could have won my fourth title. But I didn't."

After falling in the first round of the 2004 U.S. Open, Kuerten went in for his second hip surgery.

He didn't return to competition until this April. He played four difficult tournaments on his beloved red dirt and won only two matches. He says it will take the rest of 2005 before he's able to sustain an intense exercise program, be match tough and find his rhythm again. He can still smoke the ball off both wings when he gets one into his wheelhouse. Yet, he's not moving quickly, which leaves him vulnerable in end-to-end rallies.

"I need to run, to slide, to adjust my body," Kuerten said. "I know I'm not physically ready yet, but my mind has been dropping more than conditioning. My mind is playing with me a lot. It's like playing chess against myself. I have to be mentally tougher. But I'm improving week by week and that's keeping my motivation going."

Next week, when he arrives at the French Open, the now 97th-ranked Guga is hoping to catch a whiff of Roland Garros magic again. He doesn't expect to win the tournament, but he doesn't expect to leave his favorite locale without imposing himself on a few players. He's not done believing he can make big waves, his hip be dammed.

"There are many tournaments where I still believe I can be successful, like at the French and the U.S. Open," he said. "The dreams I used to have are still in my head. They are still clear."

Matthew Cronin, the managing editor of Inside Tennis magazine, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:10 AM   #123
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Awesome article, thanks a lot Dirk I love Guga's attitude, it really made me feel good to read it Guga has the belief, I have it too for sure

I love it when he says he could have won his 4th RG title last year, and he's soo right! His pain kept him from advancing further, while he had Nalbandian on the ropes, he had beaten Gaudio in RG in 2003 and has Coria's number! Who knows what could have happened! We'll see what will happen next, but first of all, let's wait for his draw in RG!
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:44 AM   #124
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Billa, if not for getting bad doctor advice, Guga would have won his 4th RG in 02. The tour would look very different right now if Guga never got hurt. I still think Roger would be number one but wouldn't have as many titles and Guga would have been 2nd for sure. I also think Guga would have been number one in 02 if not for all of this.
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Old 05-18-2005, 09:10 AM   #125
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That is a great article. I wasn't into tennis much when he was winning RG back-to-back, but I've always liked him. It's great to see him battle on despite the injuries and surgeries. I hope he can cap his career at his favorite tournament a la Sampras USO 2002.
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Old 05-18-2005, 01:03 PM   #126
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Thank you so much Dirk !!!!!!
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Old 05-18-2005, 03:05 PM   #127
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I'm glad Guga still thinks he could win some events once healthy.
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:25 PM   #128
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Thanks a lot for the insightful article, Dirk. It´s interesting Guga says "his mind has been dropping more than his conditioning". Maybe that´s an explanation for his rather strange results since his second surgery.
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Old 05-18-2005, 10:41 PM   #129
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Yah Claudia, that's why when he gets broken, he tends to give up the set (like against Robredo), so he needs to work on that!
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:11 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amethyst
Thanks a lot for the insightful article, Dirk. It´s interesting Guga says "his mind has been dropping more than his conditioning". Maybe that´s an explanation for his rather strange results since his second surgery.
*sigh* Sounds like both my fav players, Guga and Rainer, are real headcase these days.
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:48 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
*sigh* Sounds like both my fav players, Guga and Rainer, are real headcase these days.
At least Guga has a reason to be a headcase, while I don´t see any reason for the Rainer headcase
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Old 05-19-2005, 04:55 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amethyst
I don´t see any reason for the Rainer headcase
Total burnt out of all his brain cells after 2003?
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Old 05-20-2005, 05:53 PM   #133
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Well, sorry to interrupt the flow of your conversation, and sorry if this has already been posted here. But if you check this link, you'll see Guga surfing, and practicing, after his surgery. Go to the bottom right of the page and click on "Tout Le Sport". The last question he's asked is if he thinks that a 4th title in RG is possible this year. He replies "yes" and bursts out laughing!

http://www.france3.fr/
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Old 05-20-2005, 09:08 PM   #134
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Thanks Choupi!
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Old 06-25-2005, 10:27 AM   #135
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News about Guga from terra.com (babelfish translation)

Guga comes back to Brazil

Gustavo Kuerten came back to Brazil in this friday already of eye in the dispute of the Davis Cup, who happens between days 15 and 17 of July, in Joinville, against the Antilhas Dutch.
Guga disembarked in the International Airport of Guarulhos and used to advantage the ticket for São Paulo, before continuing trip for Florianópolis, to make a series of medical evaluations and examinations of after-surgical accompaniment. The tenista passed for diverse tests, in the Hospital Sao luiz Morumbi, the Hospital of the Heart and the Center of Studies of Psicobiologia and Exercício of the Unifesp (Federal Univesidade of São Paulo), being approved for the Dr. Rogério Teixeira Da Silva. "The hip of Guga is excellent and it is well for initiating this phase of preparation for The second semester, continuing with the work of force and muscular resistance", explained the doctor, who is following the tenista since the phase that preceded its second surgery in the right hip.
Guga, who during the small interval between the examinations used his only free moment to visit the section pediátrica of the Hospital of the Heart, where devoid children are recouping of cardiac surgeries or pass for process daily pay-operatório, was moved with the affection he received and contents with the result of the examinations. "The chances are rare that people have to be in contact with these children, who give a smile to you, one I hug so sincere and where you finish very changing a special energy. I was happy also with the results of the examinations and now we go to continue working, with that certainty of that we are on the right way ". On monday Guga already will be training in Santa Catarina, with the technician Hernan Gumy and the physical preparador Fernando Cao. The next event that Guga disputes is the Davis Cup, in Joinville and after that he comes back the Europe to play the ATPs de Stuttgart and Umag, on clay.
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