What happened to Guga Kuerten?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by samprasvsfederer123, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. samprasvsfederer123

    samprasvsfederer123 Banned

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    can someone tell me what happened to him and all his history? I haven't watched tennis forever so i don't know about his history but by videos i see he was pretty big from 97-2001 but after that i hear nothing about him, and what is this that he retired in 2008 how can he be a great champion and yet be in the shadows like this, i mean safin had bs consistency but even he was more talked about than kuerten, how did he sink so low?

    sry if i sound very very noobish/ or stupid just want to know about guga...
     
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  2. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Guga was basically a one surface threat on clay, great there though but suffered from tons of injuries. The hip being the most notable. He was basically done after 2004 he slipped out of the top 100 and spent most of the last few years out the top 500 even out of the top 1000. It was very sad, injuries destroy his career. However how great was he..it depends he was a great clay courter but I feel open era wise he falls 5th behind Borg, Nadal, Lendl and Wilander.
     
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  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I believe Sampras said that on other surfaces aside from clay that his swing was too long and he would be late on some shots. Still it was incredible when he did at the YEC that one year in defeating Agassi and Sampras to become number one. Next to Nadal you can argue he is the second best clay court player of the last ten years, maybe twenty years. That's another one of dream matchups. Nadal against Guga, both healthy and at their peaks (still debatable if Nadal is at his peak yet by the way but for now, let's say 2008 for Nadal) playing in the French Open final. I think Guga, as tall as he is wouldn't be bothered as much by Nadal's high topspin as many would be and when he is flowing it would be a heck of a match. I think Kuerten's serve and backhand on red clay may be better than Nadal's. Nadal is more mobile with a better forehand on red clay. One advantage Kuerten would have over many is that Nadal's best serve in the ad court goes to the Kuerten strength, his great backhand.

    Kuerten, when his game was flowing on red clay is one of the few who could just hit winner after winner, even on that slow surface. It was beautiful to watch.

    Guga was one of my favorite players. I just loved the fluidness of his game. One thing that I thought was very underrated in his game was his serve. He had one of the best serves in tennis. He just looked like he loved tennis with that great smile of his.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYbs-AeUPOE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwd2U2zM82E&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I always liked his curious (with its contorted backswing) but effective backhand. His arm seemed incredible flexible.

    Watch this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwUvcJBqKBo

    His backhand was clicking that day (so much so that even Guga had to grin)!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
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  5. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Agreed completely. Guga played such an interesting yet amazing clay game. He was all over the court. I also agree on the Sampras part and most are amazed he could win that year end masters, but he wanted the number 1 ranking bad that year.
     
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  6. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    we (local crowds) were all over there for him... :)
     
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  7. Justdoit10

    Justdoit10 Guest

    I love Guga. He was an awesome player and a great person.
     
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  8. samprasvsfederer123

    samprasvsfederer123 Banned

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    ya i cant stop hearing about how much of a good guy he was, and i mean he must have been good to even win masters cup 00
     
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  9. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    started suffering hip pain during the fall of 2001. had hip surgery and never really recovered. had at least another hip operation but it didn't help.

    kuerten is idolized on these boards but he never even made the semi finals of a grand slam other than the french open.
     
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gustavo Kuerten was a great player and person, and one of the best clay-courters you'll see. He could also get good results on other surfaces at times, winning the 2000 Masters Cup and the 2001 Cincinnati Masters. He was also number 1 in the world for 43 weeks.

    Unfortunately, he started having hip problems in the latter half of 2001 and it started to plague him throughout the next few years. However, at the 2004 French Open, with his world ranking now down at 30, he rolled back the years with a brilliant performance to upset the world number 1, Roger Federer, in straight sets.
     
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  11. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    I think he is overrated by some people. He never even made it past the quarters of a slam outside the French, and never made it past the 3rd round of the Australian which should have been his 2nd best slam surface. He could produce some great tennis on hard courts but only in patches, and never when it mattered most.

    Still he was a great player, especialy on clay, and a very likeable guy. An ambassador for tennis, especialy in his country.
     
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  12. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Never? The 2000 Masters Cup and 2001 Cincinnati Masters are big hardcourt tournaments, especially the former which got him to the world number 1 ranking for the first time. I admit that his record at the Australian Open was disappointing. Kuerten's brilliance at his peak was seen on clay, but only very rarely on other surfaces.
     
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  13. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Since retirement he has settled down in his place of birth, the Brazilian island of Florianopolis, where he enjoys being an active member of life in the lakeside town of Lagoa da Conceicao. He still enjoys teaching and playing tennis with the local enthusiasts and is known to enjoy some sake after a match down at the local Mexican restaurant Cafe do Sol. In his hometown, he is known as the "Cachorro Grande" (literally Big Dog but "Big Cheese" is a term more commonly used in the English language).

    He is an avid surfer and can sometimes be seen surfing at Praia Brava where he has an apartment.

    Kuerten has been accepted to a drama course on Ceart, Center of Arts at UDESC - Santa Catarina State University in Florianópolis. He began his studies there on February 16, 2009.[3][4]



    wikipedia
     
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  14. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I agree that this would be a tremendous fantasy match-up. I think Kuerten has the firepower, reach and movement of Federer BUT has more consistency, and is much less troubled by topspin. This would spell some serious trouble for Nadal when Kuerten is at his best. Nevertheless, Nadal is such a beast, that nobody is safe against him on clay. If both are at their absolute peak, I pick Kuerten in 4 or 5 tough sets. At their best, I pick Kuerten 6.5 times out of 10! On the other hand, in the real world nobody is at their best all the time, were they both just in their prime, and suffering the normal day-to-day ups and downs, I think I'll pick Nadal to win 6.5 matches of 10.

    I also think that Bruguera can match Nadal's coverage AND topspin. THAT is serious war. I would end up giving Nadal 8 of 10 matches, but only due to his superior fitness.
     
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  15. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    uuuhhhh. no. kuerten was a good mover, but not at the same level as federer especially defensively, and not on the same planet as nadal.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUnCOhMV-1U

    kuerten never moved like this in his life on clay.
     
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  16. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    this.

    he sucked in slams outside the french.
     
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  17. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    LOL. Well you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I am curious, do you think he moved as well or better than Federer OFFENSIVELY then? What does that even mean?

    If he was not at the same level as Federer and not on the same planet as Nadal in terms of court coverage, to what do you attribute his success?
     
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  18. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I know a number of people who are considered very knowledgeable in tennis and a number have told me that in their opinion Kuerten on red clay, when he is ON HIS GAME is superior to Nadal. So they agree with you.

    Kuerten had a much bigger serve than Nadal and great firepower on both groundstrokes. He could paint the lines when he was on his game. For what it's worth, I agree with them and you.

    Overall Nadal is better and more consistent.

    Here's a little of Guga's match with Michael Russell. After Guga survived the match point, I thought to myself that Russell's dead and Guga was two sets down at the time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJl8V3AmDsQ
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
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  19. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Didn't Kuerten once ace someone 50 times on red clay?
     
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  20. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    guga although a great mover on clay, isn't as good as fed , is slightly behind

    As far as guga/nadal at their best on clay is concerned, I believe nadal would win 12 to 13 times out of 20 ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
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  21. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Remember the 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 at the 2004 French Open? That was a comfortable win for Kuerten over Federer at a time when Guga was past his prime and number 30 in the world.
     
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  22. groundbreaker

    groundbreaker Rookie

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    If I'm not mistaken, he's helping train 2 Brazilian junior players right now...
     
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  23. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    Unless you wanted to make a general comment, I don't see how much this tells us about Kuerten's movement. Besides it was only one match.
     
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  24. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Too bad I didn't start watching pro tennis earlier. I like Guga, he's probably one of my favorite retired players but I missed watching his best years.
     
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  25. GeoffB

    GeoffB Rookie

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    I always enjoyed watching Kuerten play, especially his one handed backhand. I had previously thought of the one handed bh as a good stroke for for players who excelled on low bouncing, fast courts (like Sampras), but maybe a liability on a slower surface like clay. Kuerten showed how good a 1bh could be on clay, using the extra time it gave him to whip through the ball and generate phenomenal pace and spin. It was an amazing stroke to watch.
     
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  26. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    I loved his backhand, so did most people I guess, and who would forget his trademark grunting........ now i guess hes still waiting in line for his hip replacement at the ripe old age of 34, at least he'll be further up the cue when I'll need one


    ____________________________________

    "Sorry."
    -- Mirka Vavrinec, Roger Federer's girlfriend, giving Ivan Ljubicic a hug after the Miami final.
     
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  27. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    no but Karlo at FO against Hewitt and still lost:shock:
     
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  28. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, 55. That record has been shattered by Karlovic since then. In the Davis Cup semi final on clay against Stepanek, Karlovic served 78 aces :shock: in the match and still lost. Stepanek won 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 16-14 and the match lasted 6 hours, one of the longest in history.
     
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  29. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    He sure was a good claycourter, but not anywhere near as complete as Nadal.
    Guga took the ball very late and played far behind the baseline ( I know Nadal does the same, but plays more aggressive), Guga had trouble with players that could hit the ball on the rise and create angles. Kafelnikov did this to him at FO and was winning till he ran out of gas.

    FO 04 when he beat Fed was a complete offday for Fed, remember I was watching the match and thinking: what the h... is Fed doing! his forehand was allmost non-existing that day (and Im not a Fed fan)
     
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  30. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

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    yes, thats just insane. Imagine if the guy had somekind of groundgame..
     
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  31. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    He had 47 on carpet against Nestor (2003 Davis Cup).
     
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  32. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    OMFG.. holy ****....what movement from both playes. EPIC. Thankyou for the lnik
     
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  33. World Beater

    World Beater Hall of Fame

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    federer is able to play much better defense than kuerten, whether it is scrambling for balls, lateral speed on a clay court to reach balls that would otherwise be out of the strike zone.

    kuerten was a natural mover on clay and when he was on offense, he moved and anticipated shots very well. he glided nicely into his shots, but if we he was put on the defensive, he found it much more difficult to neutralize the opponent with his movement, and return the rally to neutral..or take defense to offense like federer does. Kuerten also doesnt move as well as federer when it comes to transition (moving towards the net when attacking).But this is a less important aspect of movement on a claycourt.

    kuerten had good movement, and certainly was not a reason for lack of success. but its not as strong as federer's movement or nadal's movement. nadal of course is in his own league when it comes to claycourt movement with guys like borg etc.

    kuerten's strike zone fit perfectly with high bouncing clay courts, being tall, having western grips, and long loopy swings to generate pace and weight of shot. He also understood the dimensions of a claycourt very well and constructed points beautifully well on a claycourt. were not Kafelnikov once remarked that kuerten was like a "picasso" on court. He had an effective serve and his returning skills while not the best, were not a weakness on a claycourt where he could afford to stand far back and loop his groundstrokes.
     
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  34. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Well we will have to disagree. I think people forget how rangy Kuerten was, and how well he scrambled for balls. It is actually impossible to win the Fo's he did without fantastic defensive coverage. As to "offensive movement", I think it's LEAST important on a clay-court especially for 2 dedicated baseliners like Kuerten and Federer. Lateral movement on offensive and defensive shots are almost impossible to distinguish between except in extreme cases, I don't believe in giving them different ratings, it would render them so meaningless and non-ecologically valid that it seems absurd to me, though I know it's common at this board.
     
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  35. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I agree with you on this post.
     
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  36. World Beater

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    nobody disputes that kuerten wasnt rangy, but his movement is not as good as federers. He doesnt have the same ability as federer when on defense on clay.

    Regarding your point about offense and defense..it isnt hard actually - it just takes observation (when a player controls the point - how do they move? Vs. when the opponent starts to control the point - how do they move?). But not everyone has eyes for it.

    But if you disagree, that's your choice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
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  37. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    oh ok. He had an awesome serve.
     
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  38. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Um..it is hard and in regards to lateral movement, and in fact, players who are "controlling" the point rarely have extreme demand on their movement. In any baseline exchange 'control" itself is an issue. Again, an incredible and oversimplification and largely meaningless in any specific way.

    So you agree Kuerten is "rangy" but does not have the court coverage of Nadal or Federer. As before, your premise is unclear in that you keep stating what you think they do have, but not what you think he lacks. What then do you feel he is lacking in his defensive coverage?
     
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  39. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Heh. I know a couple of the posters here are new to the game, and not too knowledgable...one wonders what it says about Federer and Safin (who i believe lost to the injury ridden kuerten the last FOUR times they played) that they were unable to beat him, despite his poor defensive movement....just not enough firepower I guess ;-)
     
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  40. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    One of my favorite players.

    Too bad his carreer had a premature end due to injuries. I felt he could have had a good run in a HC slam, as his YEC victory with wins over Sampras and Agassi shows.

    His ability to take the 1HBH at shoulder hight and produce offensive play with it was unique.
     
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  41. World Beater

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    Its is pretty clear actually. Whatever ranginess kuerten had, doesnt make up for his lack of speed and retrieving ability on a claycourt compared to federer.

    And yes, footwork has everything to do with how effectively you can control the point, how well you can cut off angles to hit dtl, whether you can take the ball early...if you can get in position to hit behind the opponent, anticipation of the opponents shot, so that you can prepare earlier. Sliding into your shots effectively, moving forward. Even in an offensive position, the player isnt stationary, he is always moving trying to maintain his court position and upper hand in the rallies. All of this is part of movement.

    i assume by ranginess, you mean wingspan btw.

    The bottom line as far as im concerned is that kuerten doesn't have federer's athletic ability when on defense.
     
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  42. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    WOW. So it's footspeed and athletic ability you say he lacked.
     
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  43. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, but one would be well advised to take anything WB says about the previous generations of players with a large grain of salt. I still remember having this interesting exchange with him a few weeks ago where he said Nadal is "much better" than Bruguera at defending fast-pace balls. And when I explained to him that Agassi wasn't as proficient in returning serves in his late years due to aging and also a hip injury, he went on to accuse me of making "excuses." :)

    Once in a while WB makes a valid point and I do respond to his posts then. Otherwise I find it best to let him be and mingle with his fellow fanboys.
     
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  44. Gugafan

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    Guga was often nicknamed "rubberman". He was very elastic and flexible for a tall guy. This was one of the reasons why he moved so effortlessly on clay. This combined with his large wingspan made it difficult to expose any limitations in his footwork.

    I dont think anyone would argue that overall Federer is much better on the defense, but on clay I think Kuertens movement was abit more fluid and effortless (particularly when sliding into shots).
     
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  45. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    If I'm not mistaken, what makes his French Open 97 win legendary was that he is one of the few players in the open era to win a slam having entered as a qualifier, and was the very first pro tournament he ever won. Also noteworthy was that his 2001 FO win (which I watched on TV), was achieved in spite of his being visibly affected by injury throughout the tournament.

    While not exactly as flashy as the "beautiful game" exhibited by the stereotype Brazilian football player, Guga always played with the same joyful exuberance. I could almost hear a Samba playing in the background.
     
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  46. Tennis_Stringman

    Tennis_Stringman Rookie

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    I loved watching Guga rack his backhand. He and Gasquet are the best in that dept.
     
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  47. World Beater

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    perfect.

    that is all im saying.

    some people in this thread have serious reading comprehension issues.

    kuerten was a fluid mover, just not as fast as federer on defense.

    federer is better on defense..that is all im saying.
     
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  48. World Beater

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    you would be surprised. some people need their eyes checked.
     
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  49. World Beater

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    compared to federer.

    compared to federer

    compared to federer

    i wrote that three times for you, just in case you missed it the other "n" times it was in my post.
     
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  50. World Beater

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    quite amusing. i never understand why some posters actually visit messageboards when their views are so rigid and their perspective so intransigent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
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