May 30, 2002 |
It's smart to keep the dramatic gestures in appropriate order. After all, three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil didn't face a match point Wednesday in his close escape against Italian Davide Sanguinetti in the second round. There was no need to draw a heart in the clay as he did last year after surviving match point against qualifier Michael Russell in the fourth round.
March 24, 2002 |
When Pele was a boy and too poor to buy a soccer ball, he'd make one out of old socks tied together and hone his moves in pickup games. The street was a crucible for the raw talent that helped make Brazil "the land of soccer." A new kind of Pele is emerging from the streets and shantytowns, and this one swings a racket. The rise of Gustavo Kuerten--"Guga" to Brazilians--to the top of the tennis world has generated a wave of "Gugamania" in this country of 170 million.
January 14, 2002 |
Where have all the sambas gone? Maybe the Brazilians knew something and stayed home en masse, leaving Gustavo Kuerten on his own. Rarely has Kuerten played under quieter circumstances than Monday at the Australian Open. The roof of Rod Laver Arena was closed for his match because of inclement weather and sounded like a tomb, and there appeared to be just one Brazilian flag in the upper deck. Frankly, there would not have been much for them to cheer after the first two sets.
November 14, 2001 |
Gustavo Kuerten is ending the year in a slump, and his No. 1 ranking could slip away at the Masters Cup in Sydney, Australia. Kuerten couldn't handle Goran Ivanisevic's tricky serve Tuesday and lost to the Wimbledon champion, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4. Kuerten won six of his 16 career titles in 2001, but he has only one victory in his last eight matches, dating to the U.S. Open in September. Earlier Tuesday at the $3.
September 3, 2001 |
Since there haven't been many upsets, and since this is New York, the first week of the U.S. Open has been all about sex and race. Read all about it. The top women players all hate each other. It's cat fights galore in the locker room according to a Time magazine cover story and a column on the New York Times op-ed page. Martina doesn't like Venus and Serena. Jennifer can't stand Monica's grunting. Lindsay thinks Venus and Serena's dad is a joke. And little Ashley's shorts and stomach-baring top are too tight.
August 30, 2001 |
Gustavo Kuerten peered at the guy in the interview room holding up the latest issue of Time magazine featuring sisters Venus and Serena Williams on the cover and looked bemused. "I have no contact lens, man," he said. "I can't see." For him, the sisters may as well have been the last line on an eye chart. The Brazilian was asked if he felt as though he was a "lightning rod for hostility" against the men's game. Feeling the hostility?