Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I do not follow the prototypical American choice of favorite athletes. I grew up with random athletes being my favorites and tennis was just one example. Growing up I never really got into Pete Sampras and his boring demeanor or Andre Agassi and his flamboyant style. It was always the odd foreigners that caught my attention from Goran Ivanisevic to Gustavo Kuerten. This weekend marked the last professional tennis match of the latter whom when in his prime was unstoppable on the clay courts in Paris. He was exciting showed constant joy on the court and won with charisma and class. He was my favorite player to watch and much like Chris Webber was saddled with injuries which both limited his potential and cut his career sort.
Kuerten has been mostly irrelevant on the tour since 2002 when he first started his series of injuries but there will always be those three French Open Titles in 97, 00, and 01. As well, as the last flash of Paris brilliance when he dominated Roger Federer in straight sets in 04 marking Roger's lone Grand Slam loss of the year.
Here's to you Guga for a successful but mostly fun career.