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GUGA FACES QUALIFIER IN THE OPENING MATCH

Source: Guga´s site

He will play doubles with Andre Sa [:D]

Gustavo Kuerten doesn´t know his first opponent for the season, in Auckland, New Zealand. In the draw made this Saturday, Guga was placed to face a qualifier for his opening match of the year.

Seeded number four, behind only Jiri Novak, David Nalbandian and Fernando Gonzalez, Guga won´t know his opponent untill the qualifying rounds are over, probably on Sunday. Although the official order of play is not yet announced, he will probably play on Tuesday, Auckland time, Monday night in Brazil due to the time gap.

"I always say that play against a qualifier is a puzzle. You can face it two ways: the first is that the guy is not as well ranked, and less experient. The other side, though, he comes in with nothing to lose, and confident because of the matches he just won, and it makes a difference, especially in the beggining of the season," said Guga, who plays the Auckland ATP for the first time in his carreer. "This first match is really important. If I can win one or two matches, I may get tough for the week."

DOUBLES - Fit and chasing more play rhythm, Gustavo Kuerten will also play the doubles draw. His partner is Andre Sa, with whom Guga was a runner-up for last year´s Brasil Open. They also won the doubles match on Davis Cup against Canada.

"I like to play doubles. It surely helps in the singles, me and Andre work well together in and off the court, we managed to get into the draw, so we´re going to give it all," said Guga, who last year had an official season closure as a runner-up of the Paris TMS on doubles, with frenchman Cedric Pioline.

The first match on doubles is yet to be announced, but it will be against the number three seeds Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, from Czech Republic. "They are the favorites of course, since they only play doubles, but we have to get into the court ready to surprise them."
 

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Discussion Starter #2
GUGA STARTS 2003 WITH DOUBLES MATCH

The opening match will be with André Sá on doubles.

Source: Guga´s site.

Gustavo Kuerten opens the season this night, on a doubles match. Partning with André Sá, Guga faces the czechs Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, in the Center Court of the ASB Tennis Center in Auckland. The match is the fourth of today, and will start around 00:30 am Brazil time.

"It´s gonna be good to play the doubles before the singles on my first tournament this year. When I come in to play on singles, I won´t be so nervous anymore, as I´ll have had a match played by then," said Guga, who still doesn´t know his opponent on singles.

Three times winner of Roland Garros, Guga will face a player from the qualifying, that will finish this Monday. Guga plays the opening singles match on Tuesday, maybe Monday night in Brazil.

DOUBLES - this will be Guga´s sixth time playing with André Sá, one of the players who were with him in Florianópolis for the pre-season. They got together for the first time for Mallorca last year in April, and reached the semifinals. Their best results were in the Brasil Open (in a court similar to the one in Auckland), where they were runner-ups, and on the clay, when they clinged Brazil´s World Group spot on Davis Cup, against Canada.

In the World Ranking for doubles, Guga is ranked #96, and Sá #69. Pala and Vizner (number three seeds) are numbers 38 and 34, respectivelly.

This is the first time Guga plays in Auckland, and the first time in two years that he will be playing a tournament before the Australian Open. "Usually I don´t play this week, but this time I had enough time to prepare myself and I can start the year earlier. I never played well in this part of the world, but I´m giving it another shot, starting in Auckland. My expectations towards the season are good, and I´m dying to play well," he said.

The Auckland ATP gives US$ 380,000 in prize money, and gives the winner 175 points in the Entry System and 35 in the Champions´ Race.
 

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is this a recent pic?? he looks great!!! here are the 4 qualifiers.. I don't know which one will meet Guga, but here they are!

M Russell (USA)
Kendrick (USA)
R Ginepri (USA)
M Verkerk (NED)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The pic was attached to the article, and the date on the filename contains something like 01_03. So, I guess it´s from a couple days ago. ;)

Qualies are always dangerous! Russell! :eek: :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I mean, Russell remembers me of that NIGHTMARE Roland Garros match two years ago!
 

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Michael Russell got a lot out of that match, but apparently not enough if he's playing quallies again.

Man he was in the booth for at least two days after that match. But he wasn't invited back to give commentary on the final :D
 

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Guga is playing doubles right now.. any score?? Sa just lost his singles match..... Go Guga and Sa!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What a start!! :D

GUGA STARTS 2003 WINNING ON DOUBLES. OPENER SINGLES ON MONDAY NIGHT

Source: Guga´s site

Gustavo Kuerten started officially the new season, and in the best way possible: a win in Auckland, New Zealand. Pairing with André Sá, he defeated the number three seeds, czechs Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner, 7-6(8) 6-3 and is already in the quarters. The opener match in singles is this monday night (tuesday in Auckland), around 11 pm Brazil time, against dutchman Martin Verkerk, on Centre Court of the ASB Tennis Center.

"We already started the year winning a match. It was really cool, we played very well and it´s always important to start the year winning," said Guga, who is pairing with Sá for the sixth time in his carreer. "As always, André carried me on his back again," joked Guga.

Also this monday, Guga took part of an event to promote tennis and the tournament for the oriental market [not sure if this is the correct word to use...], in Auckland, where he and the argentine Mariano Zabaleta played tennis in the streets. "It was really cool playing there and see a lot of brazilians," he said.

His first opponent is ranked number 84th (Entry System) and 35th (Champions Race), and he needed to win three matches to get into the main draw. "I saw Verkerk play in the qualifying and his serve rocks," said Guga.

For the first match between Guga and Verkerk and the first match of the year, coach Larri Passos said it will be important that his pupil can get through the anxiety. "The first match of the year is always tough. Guga will have to get through the anxiety in the first round. But he is super motivated, we practiced hard these days here in Auckland. The key, in the start, will be concetration. he will always need to focus in the next point."

On doubles, Guga and Sa come back to court on Wednesday or Thursday, facing the winner of Lucas Arnold/David Nalbandian or Dominik Hrbaty/Radek Stepanek.
 

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Thanks for the article, Diss!

'oriental market' is correct. I saw it mentioned in the news in the tournament's web site.
 

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Base on Dissident's play by play, Guga seems to serve very well but I'm a bit worried about he did not win those long points as he used to.

Facing another qualifier also scares me a bit. Look at today's results in both Sidney and Auckland, those qualifiers are really scary. I remembered I saw Russell playing the fifth set (I'm not sure whether it was FO or USO) and he was bouncing like it's the first set and he also pushed Guga to 5 sets in FO.

Hopefully, Guga learned his lesson last time and played an even better match in next round.

:bounce: Go Guga Go :bounce:
 

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Kuerten advances to Auckland second round; Nalbandian beaten

January 7, 2003

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) -- Former world No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten advanced to the second round of the Heineken Open on Tuesday, but Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian lost to Argentine compatriot Mariano Zabaleta.

Kuerten, a three-time French Open champion seeded fourth here, won 7-6 (5), 6-4 over Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands.

The match was Keurten's first since his opening-round losses in Rome and Paris in October. As a result, his world ranking dropped to 37 by the end of last year.

Nalbandian, the world's 12th-ranked player, followed fifth-seeded Jose Acasuso out of the tournament, beaten 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 by Zabaleta. The two had not previously met in an ATP match.

Nalbandian, a quarterfinalist in Auckland last year, won the first set comfortably but seemed to wilt in the oppressive humidity of the afternoon.

Eighth-seeded Davide Sanguinetti of Italy was also beaten Tuesday, 6-3, 6-3 by Raemon Sluiter of the Netherlands

Third-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile advanced to the second round with a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

American qualifiers Robby Ginepri and Michael Russell sealed second-round berths with close straight-set wins.

Russell beat Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 7-6 (4), 6-4. Ginepri took Agustin Calleri of Argentina 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Seventh-seeded Guillermo Coria of Argentina beat David Sanchez of Spain 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.


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Congrats Gus on advancing
 

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Out of all the ppl, all the quali's, why Russell??? Everyone remembers that FO match. I wonder how Guga feels about having to play him again.

You're right, Lee. Quali's can be very scary. Like what Guga said, sure they're ranked lower and have less experience, but they have tons of confidence from winning those matches. Hopefully experience can win out again and that Guga can keep his serve.

Go Guga!!! :)

btw, Mrs. Guga, cool avatar!
 

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Thanks Lily!

And Guga won't get beat by that dwarf again. I actually don't remember that FO match because that's how much of a fluke it was and Michael is a hasbeen, and oh yeah, Guga won! Don't fear people! Go GUGA!! We love you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"The match was Keurten's first since his opening-round losses in Rome and Paris in October. As a result, his world ranking dropped to 37 by the end of last year."

:confused:
Rome and Paris are really close, right... :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
GUGA INTO THE DOUBLES SEMIS



Guga couldn´t play the singles, but at least he could enter the court for the doubles draw. In an indoor court outside of the ASB Tennis Center, Guga and Andre Sa advanced to the semifinals of Auckland Doubles, as they beat argentinians David Nalbandian and Lucas Arnold, 6-3 7-6(4)

Chasing a spot in the finals, they will face the winner from the match between Alistar Hunt and Mark Nielsen from New Zealand and David Adams and Robbie Koenig from South Africa.

On singles, Guga will play Michael Russel around 8:30 pm Brazil time, and, if he wins, then plays again later, against thew winner of Guillermo Coria from Argentina vs Fernando Vicente from Spain.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
There you see the Blue... That i think is green...
Well, whatever. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #17
From www.tenisbrasil.com.br

Rain strykes again to delay Guga´s match
Jan 09, 8:51pm
Auckland - The rain, which had already interrupted the match between Gustavo Kuerten and Michael Russell four times last night, keeps on freaking out the tournament organizers. The round of play to happen this Thursday night (Friday in Auckland), that should start at 8 pm Brazil time, had neither started yet, one hour later.

Guga and Russell, that fight for a spot in the quarterfinals, are tied on 4/6 6/4. By the time of the last rain delay, the american qualifier served 0-30 in the first game of the last set.

The winner of this match, sort of a replay of 2001 Roland Garros round-of-16 which the brazilian won in the fifth set after saving a match point, should face Guillermo Coria, who beat spaniard Fernando Vicente last night, later today.
 

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if it rains all day, maybe they will cancell the tournament.... there's no way Guga will play 4 matches in one day! lol.. do you know when the rain will stop???
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It stopped, for what they said...
They are drying the court. If it doesnt rain again, they will play in about 20 minutes. :)

*RAIN DANCE*
Go away!!!!!! Rain SUCKS!
 
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