Curator's Corner: In the Museum with Guga Kuerten

Lauded in Brazil for his contributions to the sport and his philanthropic efforts, the ITHF also celebrates Guga's accomplishments in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2012, Guga was inducted into the Hall of Fame in recognition of his many achievements in the sport. He was named a Global Ambassador for the Hall of Fame earlier this year. Today, items representing some of the greatest moments of his storied career are among the 2,000 artifacts on display in the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

The Artifacts...

Guga Tennis Shoe

Tennis shoe worn by Gustavo Kuerten,
Roland Garros 1997

Guga first burst onto the scene at the 1997 French Open. He was ranked No. 66 in the world at the time and had earned just eight ATP World Tour wins. In a storybook run to the final that captured the attention of fans worldwide and elevated him to hero status in his home country, he played an extraordinary tournament, knocking off three former champions en route to the trophy. He overcame Thomas Muster in the third round (6-7, 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4) and No. 3 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the quarterfinals ( 6-2, 5-7, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4). This blue and yellow tennis shoe, now displayed in our museum was what Guga wore on Paris' grand red clay when he met two-time champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain in the final and won his first major title, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. He would go on to win the title two more times (2000, 2001), etching his place in tennis history among the greatest of all time. 

 

ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award, 2003

In 2003, Guga was honored with this prestigious award in recognition of the work he has done through his Institute Guga Kuerten (inspired by his late brother Guilherme and opened in 2000). The Institute Guga Kuerten is dedicated to providing developmental opportunities, sports, education, and social inclusion for the disabled in Brazil.  

Guga Tennis Shoe

Gustavo Kuerten's French Open Shirt, 2001

Guga sported this bright blue and yellow design at the 2001 French Open when he won his last of three titles on the clay at Stade Roland Garros. He defeated Àlex Corretja of Spain 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2, 6-0.

Prix Orange Roland Garros Award presented to Gustavo Kuerten, 2004

This award has been presented by the association of international tennis journalist at the French Open since 1981 to the player(s) who best demonstrates fair play, sportsmanship, and is available and friendly to the press and public. A perennial favorite of the media and fans the globe over, Guga won this award two other times, in 1998 and 2002. 

International Tennis Hall of Fame

Article posted by: International Tennis Hall of Fame. We can be reached at blog@tennisfame.com

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