Photo: Gabriel HeusiGustavo Kuerten speaks at the Guga Kuerten Cup opening ceremony
Gustavo Kuerten officially opened the 5th Guga Kuerten Cup on Monday which has received a record number of entrants, with 825 athletes representing 17 countries. The three-time French Open champion took part in the opening ceremony of the international junior tennis tournament which will take place at the Jurerê Sports Center (JUSC) in Florianopolis, Brazil.
The former world No. 1 accompanied Orlando Luz, competing in the under-16 category, who read the players’ oath, then the Brazilian national anthem played, during which President of the Guga Kuerten Group, Rafael Kuerten, president of IGK, Alice Kuerten, and representatives of various business partners were invited onto the court.
After the anthem, Guga recalled the start of his career: “To see the players entering the court with the flags of so many different countries brings back memories of when I entered a court for the first time. I never thought I would have played for so long,” he commented, welcoming a new generation of tennis players.
During his opening speech, Guga also announced that the main objective of the week was to maintain a friendly environment. “Beyond improving the level of the championship, our mission is to preserve the spirit of the Cup, gathering family and friends at the club,” he announced.
Before ending the ceremony, Guga had a few words for the players: “Feel at home, because this is your home. To receive support from so many athletes is a great privilege, even greater than the prizes I won in my career.”