Kuerten Honored at ATP's Latinos in Tennis Celebration
by ATP Staff|
Gustavo Kuerten was honored at the ATP’s Latinos in Tennis celebration, which paid tribute to the rising number of Latinos in the Top 100 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings, at the EPIC Residences and Hotel in Miami on Friday night.
ATP Chief Player Officer Andre Silva, who also spoke about the rise of Latinos in tennis, presented Kuerten with an honorary plaque at the end of the evening.
"We currently have 13 Latinos in the top 100 ATP ranking," said Silva. "There's much to celebrate tonight and with so many rising stars out there coming from Latin America, we have a feeling this trend will continue for some time."
Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti presented Kuerten with an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
"The Miami tournament has been a very special stop on the ATP tour in my career," said Guga, who lost a memorable Miami final to Pete Sampras in 2000.
"I have always loved playing here and having this party is a tremendous honor. This is a very special evening with all the people who came out to support me and who put the effort into making it happen, the ATP organizing it for me; it is everything you work for all your career.
“It's always been important for me to feel I could make an impact on people's lives, not only on the court, through my passion and my love for tennis, but also off the court. I have been very fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living and have received so much more than I could ever have imagined in my wildest dreams. All I can say is thank you.
“I really enjoyed every single minute of my professional career, even when it was tough, practicing, rehab and physiotherapy. I hope we will continue to see players showing their passion and giving their hearts out on the court.
“I will surely continue to be involved in tennis, helping develop it in Brazil as well as continuing my work with my foundation."
The event was hosted by the ATP and co-sponsored by EPIC Residences & Hotel, Diageo, PORCAO Rio's Churrascaria Restaurant Miami and Amazonia Premium water.
The celebration combined Brazilian food and drinks as well as a live samba band with a typical Miami ambiance on a rooftop terrace overlooking the water and the Miami skyline at EPIC Residences & Hotel.
It attracted celebrities and VIPs from across the North and South America and tennis players including World No. 3 Novak Djokovic, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Stanford ATP Doubles Race leaders Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram, Nicolas Almagro, Santiago Giraldo, Flavia Pennetta, Tatiana Golovin and Anna Kournikova.