July 29, 2001 |
It was a single shot, a walloping backhand. The ball whizzed past the head of Gustavo Kuerten and blasted off the line, a massive winner, and the striker of that shot, Andre Agassi, bellowed a loud "Ahhhh." That passing shot saved a break point against him. Saving that break point helped Agassi hold serve.
July 27, 2001 |
Gustavo Kuerten could be the superstar tennis needs, if only he would try. Kuerten has a mop of floppy curls and the sad eyes and sweet smile of a lonely poet. He has a nickname, Guga. The girls love Guga, the teenage ones who swoon when he walks by, who crowd the practice court at UCLA when Kuerten comes to practice the day before his first match at the Mercedes-Benz Cup. There is always a samba being played in the stands when Brazil's best tennis player is on the court.
July 22, 2001 |
Gustavo Kuerten, on the edge of defeat in a second-set tiebreaker, rallied to defeat Jiri Novak, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5, Saturday to reach the final of the Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, Germany. The top-seeded Brazilian will play Guillermo Canas today in the title match of the $800,000 clay-court tournament. The 10th-seeded Argentine beat teenage qualifier Marc Lopez of Spain, 6-2, 6-2.
June 16, 2001 |
The world's top-ranked men's player will not be at Wimbledon. As expected, French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten officially pulled out of the tournament Friday, citing an injury. The Brazilian star, who won his third French Open title Sunday, previously had said that he planned to skip Wimbledon. He said Friday he had a sore groin and needed a rest. But Kuerten also has complained about the seeding system at Wimbledon, saying it penalizes clay-court experts like him.
June 11, 2001 |
It may have been his destiny to be the King of Clay--or is that King of Pain?--yet cosmic rules also demanded that Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten repeat his gesture of a week ago, perhaps even better it. Oui and oui. The defending champion drew a heart on the court after he survived a match-point scare against American qualifier Michael Russell in the fourth round. Surely, Kuerten must have known something when he drew the heart.
June 10, 2001 |
The nice guy nearly has it all. Alex Corretja helped bring the Davis Cup to Spain, for the first time, last year. He is widely respected and is getting married to his longtime girlfriend, Marta, later in 2001. One thing is missing. A Grand Slam title. Corretja has won the season-ending ATP Championship, in 1998, months after his best Slam performance, the French Open final. He lost to countryman Carlos Moya in the final. "The first time it was difficult for me to concentrate," Corretja said.
June 9, 2001 |
Gustavo Kuerten refers to himself as Guga, wearing a cap with the nickname, along with the usual commercial logos, during interviews. Ordinarily, speaking about yourself in third person, much less using your nickname, appears overly pretentious, sounding, well, almost American. Kuerten isn't. He is from Brazil, and the words "arrogant" and "Brazilian" are rarely used in the same sentence. Still, there was more evidence unveiled Friday at the French Open.
June 4, 2001 |
His exquisite artistry on the courts at Roland Garros has been something to behold with two French Open titles, but after fighting back from a two-sets-to-none deficit, and escaping match point against a qualifier, Gustavo Kuerten displayed another kind of flair Sunday. He started drawing. Watching Kuerten used his racket as a brush through the red clay between the service line and the baseline, the crowd appeared perplexed. What was he doing?
March 16, 2001 |
Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras won matches Thursday in the Tennis Masters Series event, but Jan-Michael Gambill made the biggest noise among the American men. Gambill, 23, of Colbert, Wash., who hits both his forehand and backhand with two hands, stunned top-seeded and top-ranked Gustavo Kuerten, 7-6 (5), 6-4, to make his way into today's quarterfinals.
March 15, 2001 |
Since it was ladies day in the desert, men's stars Pete Sampras, Gustavo Kuerten and Patrick Rafter had to settle for nice wins and little fanfare in the Tennis Masters Series. While the Women's Tennis Assn.'s sister act, Venus and Serena Williams, had the place abuzz with quarterfinal victories putting them in a rare semifinal matchup Thursday, Sampras and Kuerten had to squirm out of difficult circumstances and Rafter had merely to blast a few big serves.