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After two weeks of pre-season on clay, Guga is now practicing on hard courts.


Translated by me. :p

Guga getting ready for the first tournaments of the season

Gustavo Kuerten is already practicing on hard courts, same surface from the first challenges of the year, in New Zealand and Australia.

After two weeks of pre-season on clay, Guga is now practicing on hard courts, two weeks before he travels to Auckland, using the court that got ready just next week, located in the Larri Passos Tennis Pro, in Camboriú.

"This year, we have more time for the pre-season and we could start with two weeks on the clay. I think it´s vital that we start the work on this surface, even if the season starts on hard courts, because the clay makes the player work more on the mental, making him hit more balls. In addition to that, clay keeps the player stronger, both physical and mentally," explained Larri.

Guga believes he won´t have such a hard time adapting to the hard courts now.

"Now-a-days it´s a lot easier to me to play on fast courts. Of course it´s different from the clay, but it´s no longer a big mistery. I learned a lot in the past years and now each day the preparation goes towards getting more specific to that surface," said Guga, who is working in his third pre-season. "The daily work is still the same, very hard, hitting the gym, the pool, spending a lot of time on court. The only difference is that we changed from the clay to the hard."

Guga and coach Larri Passos go to Auckland on January 1st. The competition starts on the 6th, and the Australian Open, in Melbourne, starts on January 13. Both the tournaments are played on fast courts.

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another article!! Guga will be great in 2003!!!!!!

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Triple French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten, having suffered an injury-racked season this year, is leaving nothing to chance as he is already preparing hard for the 2003 campaign.

Having spent two weeks putting the hours in on his favorite clay, former world No. 1 Kuerten has switched to the hardcourts which will constitute his early-season diet.

Kuerten's Christmas will be curtailed as he will head off to New Zealand on New Year's Day to play the ATP Tour event at Auckland from January 6.

He will then switch to Melbourne for the Australian Open starting on Jan. 13 and where he was a first-round loser last year before hip problems struck and wrecked much of his campaign.

Kuerten then has to play for his country in the Davis Cup World Group first round away to Sweden at Helsinborg from February 7-9.

But the 26-year-old, whose only year Tour win was on home territory at Salvador da Bahia, believes he is well on the way back to his exciting best.

"Today things are much calmer for me when I step out on a court which plays quickly. Of course it's not clay - but it is no longer a mystery.

"I have learned a lot in recent years - and that each event requires specific preparation," he added.

Passos said through Gabanyi that he believed it was important to have put Kuerten through his paces on clay first of all.

"Clay makes a player work more mentally, makes him mix up his game more - and also boosts his physical strength," Passos asserted.

Kuerten's injury problems left him 37th in the ATP year-end rankings - whereas he won the Masters Cup in 2000 to finish world number one.

Now he has his sights set on a return at least to the top ten.

"I want to get back into the top ten in the first half of 2003 - last season I experienced one of the toughest phases of my career," he admitted.

The player's media spokeswoman Diana Gabanyi, meanwhile revealed that "Guga" is to inaugurate a sports center belonging to his coach Larri Passos at Camboriu in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

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It's so good to see Guga working hard and wanting to get back to the top. I have every confidence he will too.

Go Guga!!

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Billabong. :D Great article.
I think aiming for the top ten is great. He wants big stuff. Cant wait for the season to start. :bounce:

I just hope Auckland will be on tv. Not a word untill now. :(
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