PARIS, June 2, 2016 - The International Tennis Hall of Fame has named Guga Kuerten as a Global Ambassador for the organization. Kuerten, a three-time Roland Garros champion and former world No. 1 on the ATP World Tour was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012, in recognition of his outstanding tennis career. In the new role, Kuerten will play an active role in the Hall of Fame's effort to preserve and promote the history of tennis, and to engage the global tennis community.
"My induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame was a very special moment for me and my family. When I was celebrating and crying with my mother in Newport, it was an unbelievable moment of my career. When we are competing, we don't think so much about our legacy, but to look back now and think that my career is forever recognized as an impactful part of our sport's history, is incredibly humbling and meaningful," said Kuerten.
He continued, "When I was competing, I was greatly inspired by those who came before me in Brazil. I could not have had my success if I didn't have them to look up to and to aspire to be like. This is why the Hall of Fame is so important to our sport and why it was important to me to take on this new role. In their work each day, the Hall of Fame is committed to promoting an interest in the history of our sport and it's most inspiring people. I know first-hand how important it is to have inspiring personalities to look up to, to push you to be your best, and I'm thrilled to have this new opportunity to support the Hall of Fame in that work."
International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin commented, "We are thrilled to welcome Guga to support the Hall of Fame's work in this new role. His spirit and passion for our sport is infectious. He has a genuine love for our sport, a desire to see it grow, and a commitment to seeing its history be preserved and celebrated. We are very pleased to be able to work with Guga to bring the Hall of Fame's work to the global tennis community."
Kuerten joins Martina Hingis in the Global Ambassador role for the Hall of Fame. Hingis was named an ambassador in June 2015 and continues in the role, with special events scheduled for her to appear on the Hall of Fame's behalf in the fall. In his new role, Kuerten will be participating in promotional activities at tennis events around the world on behalf of the Hall of Fame in the year ahead, including special programming in Brazil around tennis events there.
Kuerten is one of 243 people from 21 nations who have received the highest honor in the sport of tennis - induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Kuerten was the world's No. 1 player for 43 non-consecutive weeks. He burst onto the tennis scene at Roland Garros in 1997, when he, as an unseeded player, overcame three past champions to win his first of three titles there (1997, 2000, 2001). In 2000, Kuerten became the first South American to finish the season ranked world No. 1 in the history of the ATP World Tour rankings (since 1973). Since retiring from competition, Kuerten has focused his time on philanthropic work, primarily through the Institute Guga Kuerten, which offers programming for children and for disabled people. The work is inspired by his late brother, Guilherme, who had cerebral palsy, and who was one of Kuerten's biggest fans.
In addition to making special appearances on the Hall of Fame's behalf, Kuerten will also be featured in the Hall of Fame's marketing campaign, which is focused on showcasing the history of tennis through the inspiring life stories of the Hall of Famers. The campaign runs in digital, print, and social media in tennis media outlets. Additionally, Kuerten will work with the Hall of Fame to produce new digital content to support efforts to engage tennis fans around the world in learning about the sport's history.
"This is a massive opportunity for me to continue my tennis life. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a really important and special place for our sport. When you walk through the museum there, it's amazing to see all the great champions and memorable moments that our sport has delivered. However, there are many tennis fans who may not be able to make the trip to Newport, and so I'm thrilled to be working with the Hall of Fame to bring the organization's mission and message out to fans around the world in a new way," said Kuerten.