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Gustavo Kuerten

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Kuerten
  • Pronounced: KEER-ten
  • Age: 38 (10.09.1976)
  • Birthplace: Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Residence: Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
  • Weight: 183 lbs (83 kg)
  • Plays: Right-handed
  • Turned Pro: 1995
  • Coach: Larri Passos
  • Website: http://www.guga.com.br
Inactive
Brazil

Brazil

As of 22.12.2014
S D
Ranking W-L Titles Prize Money
Career

High

1

04.12.2000

358-195 20 $14,807,000

Singles & Doubles combined

Career

High

38

13.10.1997

108-95 8 $14,807,000

Singles & Doubles combined

Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten is among clay-court royalty. Winning at Roland Garros three times (1997, 2000-01) the skinny, popular Brazilian has joined the Roland Garros aristocracy. Only Bjorn Borg, 1974-75, 78-79-80-81, and Rafael Nadal, 2005-06-07-08, 10-11-12, has won more titles. Not many others have won three: Henri Cochet, 1926, 28, 30 and Ivan Lendl, 1984, 86-87.

Sadly, Guga wasn’t able to add to his triple as a gimpy hip and other health problems hindered him. Following his 2001 win, Brazil issued a postage stamp featuring Kuerten with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Kuerten’s toothy smile and outlandishly colored clothes have made him an icon among Brazilian teenagers. Born September 10, 1976, in Florianopolis in the southern state of Santa Catarina, the 6-foot-3, 183 pound Kuerten is the first South American guy to reach the World No. 1 ranking (2000) and the biggest tennis star at home since Maria Bueno won three Wimbledon and four U.S. singles championships between 1959 and 1966.

Guga would rather surf than play on turf. He has studiously avoided grass tournaments his game ever suited to clay. His place in Brazilian sporting history was assured in 1997 when he defeated three former champions — Thomas Muster, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Sergi Bruguera — on his unseeded way to claiming the French Open title. Just 20 years old, he was ranked a lowly No. 66 in the world, the longest shot to go all the way, finishing his first — yes, first in the bigs! — championship by dusting off Bruguera, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. He followed up in 2000 over Sweden’s Magnus Norman, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), and the following year over Alex Corretja, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-2, 6-0, ending 2001 at No. 2.

Kuerten won five titles in 2000, climaxing his No. 1 season by seizing the Masters at Lisbon, getting past two Americans, Pete Sampras in the semis, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 and Andre Agassi in the final, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. With that, he edged Russia’s Marat Safin for the room at the top. In 2001, he lost the World No. 1 ranking to Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, but by 2002 he was down to No. 37, sliding fast as health problems increased, and hip surgery didn’t seem to help. He might have owned European clay for a while, having done more than capturing Paris. He won the Italian in 1999, Monte Carlo in 1999-2000-01, the German in 2000.

The sunny-natured man with the brilliant backhand won 20 singles titles (358-195 matches), eight doubles titles (108-95) and $14,807,000 in prize money. Guga retired in May 2008.

MAJOR TITLES (3) — French singles, 1997, 2000, 2001.

- Bio Courtesy Bud Collins

http://www.newchaptermedia.com/shop/ 

ATP Heritage: Gustavo Kuerten, 2000 (Aug. 2013)



Began playing at age six with his parents...After winning 2001 Roland Garros title, drew heart in clay to show appreciation for crowd...Older brother, Rafael, looks after his business matters...Mother, Alice, is president of Institute Guga Kuerten...Younger brother, Guilherme (28), who suffered from cerebral palsy, passed away on Nov. 7, 2007...Father, Aldo, died in 1985 while umpiring a junior match...Sports idols include his the late Ayrton Senna and Pele...Won Roland Garros junior doubles (w/Lapentti)...Has a 34-16 career Davis Cup record in 21 ties (21-11 in singles)...Named ATP Charities Chairman in 1998...In August 2000, launched Institute Guga Kuerten, to help the handicapped...It has assisted more than 16,000 people in Santa Catarina and raised $1,439,000... Brazil's Athlete of the Year in 1999 and 2000...Awarded UNESCO 2001 youth and citizenship prize...Avid surfer... Put on Brazilian postage stamp in 2001...Awarded Brazilian Cross of Merit in 2003...2003 ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of Year...2000 ATP Player of Year...Carried Olympic Torch in Rio de Janeiro in 2004 ...Unveiled Guga Kuerten line of clothing in November 2005...Reunited with long-time coach Larri Passos in 2006.

Kuerten DEUCE Feature (May 2008)

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