Popular Brazilian tennis player, and former world number one Gustavo Kuerten is among clay court royalty, winning the French Open three times. His first title at Roland Garros was won in 1997 when he was ranked number 66 in the world. He won his second title in 2000, defending it the following year.
He is known as ‘Guga’ – an affectionate nickname which is a common abbreviation of the name ‘Gustavo’ in Portuguese speaking countries. Guga became a tennis icon with a blistering first serve, backed up with the ability to chase down every ball, a unique grunt when he strikes the ball and outrageously colourful clothing.
His beaming smile and engaging personality bought a lively atmosphere to tennis stadiums around the world and made him one of the most popular players with fans and his peers alike.
In 2000, for the first time, the number one year end position came down to the final match of the season. Guga defeated superstar Andre Agassi at the ATP Word Tour finals in Lisbon to win the title and take the number one position which he held for 43 weeks over his career. He was inducted into the tennis hall of fame in 2012.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet him at this year’s ATP World Tour Finals, at London’s O2 where he signed his distinctive ‘Guga’ graph.