Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Gustavo 'Guga' Kuerten's best days are surely behind him and thats one of the reasons he plans to retire.Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten has announced he plans to retire from professional tennis this year.

The 31-year-old former world number one has struggled to recapture his best form after undergoing hip operations in 2002 and 2004.

"I tried to stay at the top level but I feel I can no longer compete against the players on the tour," he said.

"Everybody can dream, but my reality is very different: if I was 100% physically fit I would play for two or three more years."

'Guga' intends to play several competitions this season and then work as a trainer.

"I want to help young Brazilian players," he said.

"The most important thing is to try to get two or three Brazilians in the top 100 to consolidate the country in the elite of world tennis," he said.

Kuerten is hoping to receive a wildcard from the French Tennis Federation to allow him to play at Roland Garros from May 26.

"Roland Garros always was my favourite tournament," added the Santa Catarina-born player.

"I will train hard to be at my best. I want to compete and enjoy it."

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