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Andreas Vinceguerra & Gustavo Kuerten



Jonas Bjorkman & Andre Sa



Mats Wilander & Ricardo Acioly



Kuerten Looks to Shine in Brazilian Colours
Former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten is looking to lead Brazil to its first away victory since 1999, when the team takes on a below strength Sweden in the first round of the 2003 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas at the Idrottens Hus in Helsingborg, starting Friday.

Kuerten will be dressed in the Brazilian colours of yellow and green when he takes the court in Friday’s opening singles against Andreas Vinciguerra, who will be playing only his second live rubber for Sweden.

Kuerten will be followed by his compatriot Andre Sa, who will take on Sweden’s No. 1 singles player Jonas Bjorkman. Kuerten and Sa will team up for Saturday’s doubles against Bjorkman and Magnus Larsson, while Sunday’s reverse singles see Kuerten face Bjorkman, followed by Sa versus Vinciguerra.

Kuerten's specially-designed Davis Cup kit was made by his Brazilian clothing sponsor, Olympikus. Kuerten will be dressed in a complete Brazilian uniform with "Brasil" inscribed on the back of his shirt.

"It is a real Brazilian uniform," Kuerten said. "I really liked it when they first showed it to me by the end of last year and I think it will be great to enter the court, to play Sweden, wearing the colours of Brazil. This is Davis Cup, pride of playing for your country, team spirit and finding a way to overcome the difficulties."

Brazil will be looking to end a three-match losing streak away from home that has included defeats by Australia in Brisbane, France in Pau and the Czech Republic in last year’s first round in Ostrava. Kuerten and Sa are joined by teammates Flavio Saretta and Ricardo Mello, who have put in long practise sessions on the carpet courts at the Idrottens Hus.

Kuerten is confident that the Brazil can shrug of its reputation as a one-surface team. “I worked very hard with my coach Larri Passos in Florianopolis last week," he said. "We practised on an indoor synthetic grass court and I feel ready to try to surprise them.”

Mats Wilander, Sweden’s new Davis Cup Captain, has been unable to field the two players who combined to upset Great Britain 3-2 in Birmingham in the first round last year. Former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson is sidelined with a knee injury, while Thomas Enqvist was named in the four-man team, but is unable to take part this weekend.

Kuerten added: “Sweden is a country with a big tradition in tennis and in Davis Cup. When I was growing up Borg and Wilander were my idols and the tennis they played is something everyone should try to play like. But our team has grown a lot and in Davis Cup every player becomes dangerous."
 

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thanks for the article!!

GO GUGAAA!!!
 

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TennisHack said:
This is Davis Cup, pride of playing for your country, team spirit and finding a way to overcome the difficulties."
This is what I love!:bounce: You know, that a player can feel so proud, honoured, and thankful of playing for its country.:D
 

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Kuerten Sweeps Aside Vinciguerra to put Brazil 1-0 Up

Gustavo Kuerten lived up to the high expectations his team are putting on him this weekend to offer Brazil the first point of the Davis Cup tie against Sweden, beating Andreas Vinciguerra 61 64 64.

In front of a full stadium at the Idrottens Hus of Helsingborg, Guga’s Davis Cup experience, and his ability to serve well whenever he needed, gave his opponent Andreas Vinciguerra too big a handicap throughout the three set match.

"He played too good. I played great tennis from the second set on, but he was serving too good and that put too much pressure on my own service games," a disapointed Vinciguerra admitted.

In fact, the Swede looked awfully nervous at the start of the match, proving unable to use his main weapon, the forehand, to put any pressure on his opponent. In the chair, Mats Wilander seemed to be putting a lot of heart in helping him relax and finding the right strategy.

"He was telling me to go for it on the return of serve, but it was just too hard," Vinciguerra said after dropping the first set 61.

But when the second set started, it was a different Andreas Vinciguerra, and Kuerten was now forced to fight on every point. He had to wait until the 9th game to get the decisive break, after a long and tense game. He closed out the set 64.

"The second set was the key, and esspecially the game at 4 all when I broke. But overall I’m happy about the way I started the match and how I served on the important points," Kuerten said.

One break in the 5th game was enough for him to win the third set. He finally claimed victory on his third match point when Vinciguerra’s lob landed too long.

Jonas Bjorkman will try to level things up for Sweden as he takes on Andre Sa in the second rubber.





:bounce: Gongrat Guga :bounce:
 

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YAY!!!!!!!! great match Guga, I'm so happy!!!! I hope you win tomorrow's doubles match, you can do it!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More pictures come rolling in :D


Brazilan captain Ricardo Acioly



Andre Sa battled hard in his five-set defeat by Jonas Bjorkman
 

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This is great stuff guys! Thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Brazilians Forge 2-1 Lead with Comeback Doubles Win

Gustavo Kuerten and Andre Sa gave Brazil a strong option for a place in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group after they won a convincing five setter in the doubles against the Swedish pair of Jonas Björkman and Magnus Larsson.

In the end, it was stronger nerves and a better ability to stick to their offensive tactics that made the difference for the Brazilians over a disoriented Swedish pair.

Surprisingly, when the match started, Björkman, on paper the strongest of the four players in the doubles, looked strangely nervous. "Bjösse" dropped his first two service games to allow the visiting nation to get a 5-1 lead. It was only then that Björkman got his game back together, and the Swedes began really playing as a team. This didn't prevent them from dropping the set 64. But more and more they were looking comfortable on the court, sharper on their returns of serve, and more subtle at the net.

From the second set on, the Swedes seemed to have the answer to everything as Kuerten and Sa were looking a little frustrated. Sweden captured the set 62 on a double fault from Kuerten. Even though the first nine games went on serve in the third set, Björkman and Larsson looked slightly superior. Twice they held a break point and missed it, in the sixth and eighth game, and when they found themselves in a strong position again in the tenth game on Sa's serve they made the most of it. Björkman hit a magnificent passing shot down the line to take a two sets to one lead.

The momentum was definitely on the Swedish side. Yet, instead of capitalising on it, Björkman and Larsson slowed the pace, suddenly allowing their opponents to take an early lead in the fourth set by breaking Larsson for the first time in the match. The Swedish pair’s only chance of breaking back came in the fourth game when they lead 0-40 on Sa's serve. But the Brazilians proved strong at this crucial moment. And from then on, Björkman and Larsson's game started fading away and they dropped the set 62.

From the end of the fourth set until the middle of the fifth, everything the Brazilians touched turned to gold while the Swedes, and especially Larsson, seemed lost on the court, accumulating the unforced errors. The Brazilians won 16 points in a row to 3-0 30-0 and in spite of an enormous effort to reverse the situation, and the support of the public, the host team couldn't turn the tide. After 3hours and 2 minutes of play, the third match point turned out to be the one as Björkman's forehand return landed long.

Kuerten and Sa fell in each other’s arms as the Brazilian supporters exploded into song.

"We were playing well even in the third set, and we thought that it may be tough for them to keep their level as high. So we kept the pressure on, and we took our chances. It feels great to have turned things around and won this match," Kuerten admitted.

Now the Swedes have no choice but to win both singles on Sunday to qualify for the quarterfinals against Australia. History shows that more than any nation, Sweden has been able to come back from tough situations and finally prevail in Davis Cup. Ten times they have come back from 2-1 down, and five times they have fought back victoriously from 0-2. "We have been in tougher situations before, and were able to came back and win, so hopefully we can do it again" said Björkman, who will face Gustavo Kuerten in tomorrow’s opening match.
 

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yesss!!!!!!!!! great match Guga and Sa.. I'm sure they can both win their singles matches tomorrow..

GO GUGAAA!!!!!!!! you're playing great!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WHERE is Dissident? If ever there was a time when we needed him, this is it. It's just not the same without him :(
 

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even though he lost today, Guga made a great match.. let's hope Saretta can win!!!
 

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Guga, you have done all you can do! Come back in September so we can see Brazil in world group again next year!
 

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VINA DEL MAR, Chile, Feb 12 (Reuters) -- Flavio Saretta, beaten in the deciding singles of Brazil's Davis Cup tie against Sweden over the weekend, suffered more misery on Wednesday when he lost in straight sets in the first round of the Bellsouth Open.

Saretta had barely recovered from the long transatlantic journey from Stockholm before a 6-3, 6-0 defeat by Argentina's Mariano Puerta left him awaiting another flight out of Chile.

The Brazilian has been at the center of controversy following Davis Cup captain Ricardo Acioly's decision to send him into battle with Sweden's Andreas Vinciguerra instead of the more experienced Andre Sa.

Saretta, clearly unnerved and outclassed, crashed to a straight-set defeat in only his second Davis Cup match as Sweden won the tie 3-2.



What was this controversy??
 

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Well, forgive me if this sounds a little patronising, but I think all that this "controversy" amounts to is that some people think Acioly shouldn't have put Saretta in for the final match, some think he should. I have to say I'm in the former group; the way that Sa played in both his matches, even if he was tired he would have put up a better fight against Vinciguerra than Saretta did.
 

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Many people here want Acioly's head now.
He had decided Saretta would play REGARDLESS of Guga's match result.
First: we were dealing with a player we don't know what to expect from. Sa was playing good, yes. Ricardo didnt have Meligeni, the most experienced of the two, so he probably decided he would give each of the two one shot.
Sa lost his, Saretta did the same. I dont see that big a deal.

Paulo Cleto, former Davis Cup captain that was replaced by Acioly, was one of the main names on that harsh team. He said some hard stuff, some of them out of line.
I dont see a big deal when the captain is aiming for the future. We NEEDED to know how far each of the two younger ones could go... It didnt work, but it could have...

Oh well... too bad.
 
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