Photo: Ray GiubiloGustavo Kuerten (BRA)
Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten, the three-time Roland Garros champion and former world No. 1, has been elected to receive induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Kuerten’s career spanned 13 years, from 1995 to 2008, and reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a time in which he was at the top of the ATP rankings for 43 weeks.
The Brazilian star, born in Florianopolis in 1976, has been elected in the Recent Player Category, and joins the other newly appointed Class of 2012 members Manuel Orantes (Master Player Category), Mike Davies (Contributor Category) and the late wheelchair tennis player Randy Snow (Recent Player Category).
"King of the clay courts, Guga was one of the most popular players of his era, and he achieved tremendous success during a time when some of the greatest players in history were active, including Hall of Famers Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Michael Chang,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Enshrinee Nominating Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I extend sincere congratulations to Guga on this well-deserved honour. We look forward to celebrating with him and all of the Class of 2012 inductees in July.”
Kuerten is the second Brazilian player to be inducted to the International Hall of Fame after Maria Bueno (Class of 1966), the only other player from Brazil that has triumphed at a major.
In Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Guga helped Brazil to earn promotion to the World Group in 1996 and led the country to the semifinals of the competition in 2000. He was also part of the last team that managed to defeat Spain in Spain in 1999.
“It always had a huge meaning for myself, being there representing my country was a great feeling as I love playing tennis... I was very lucky to find this opportunity to play in Davis Cup,” said Kuerten. “Davis Cup helped me a lot to push my tennis up to a better level."
The 2012 Induction Ceremony will be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 14, 2012 in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States.