Sunday, May 25, 2008
Interview with Gustavo Kuerten
Q. Can you tell us about your feelings right now?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think I'm very satisfied,
especially the memories that are going are going to
stick with me from this match. I thought I played
much better than I expect. Wasn't a single shot that
I didn't make, so I play, you know, forehand,
backhand, serve, dropshot, volleys.
I did everything that I think I was able to do in
the past, too. Not at the same frequency, but at
least I had the feeling to do it once more. I felt
myself competitive sometimes, and like this.
I really had the real idea that, you know, if I had
the better ‑‑ if I could expect better reaction from
my body, I'm sure I would be playing a great level,
so that's good for me.
Probably my goal was pretty much achievement from
what I expect from my match.
Q. And then the match ended and we saw you going to
the bench, putting the towel over your head. What
were you thinking about at the time?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, just being thankful for
everything that happened to me in all my career.
I'm always used to do this once finish tournaments,
once I had the wins, too. Just take one minute for
myself and really deep thinking from everything that
happened in my life.
Especially right now, it was more ‑‑ more overall,
you know, during all these years, all the success
that I have, and the opportunity that I have to play
on this great event.
So basically, thanking for all this great time I
have on tennis court.
Q. You will play doubles with Sebastien Grosjean.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I think yes. Yes. I didn't know
because he was injured, but I think he confirmed
now, and we book in Miami. He has been around all
the years I was playing very well, too, and we are
good friends. We ask each other, Hey, let's go. We
play. It's nice, a French guy playing here. I think
it would be just some extra fun.
It's not the same, you know, expectations. It's not
the same intenseness (sic) and the singles match,
but at least extra fun that I can try and enjoy a
little bit more.
Q. What did tennis mean in your life? What did
tennis give to you?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I guess big knowledge. All these
years I've been learning a lot, and especially these
last three or four years that I have to deal with
difficult situations. So I had to grow as a person,
too. I guess my world start to get larger because of
tennis, the success I had.
I was able to ‑‑ my life just became something much
more larger than normal people. And like this, I
think I was able to adapt myself pretty well. I was
happy being successful, so basically tennis, it was
‑‑ in this part of my life was running into my
veins, into my blood. I love to be out there and
For me, this tournament especially was probably the
motivation for myself, probably my heart that keeps
the blood flow, you know. Like all the goals and all
the dreams that I have to come out here and play
Q. Do you have any regrets about your career?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. I guess I had the toughest
moment, but that's, I think, part of life, too. As
tennis is, it's going to be ‑‑ sooner or later it's
going to finish for me. I don't know, Nadal,
Federer, Djokovic, everybody, one day it's going to
Basically I'm lucky I'm ‑‑ I could understand that,
you know, in my career things not happen, probably
in two ways. One stage of my career was very
successful, and I was able to get all the goals that
I could. Then the second part was really tough.
But in the same way, as I said, for me it was
important to live these years, to grow as a person,
to understand what it's, what is the ‑‑ to have
other things to deal.
So I guess like that, for me, there's no regrets at
all. Just big knowledge, like I said, I could get
over this 10, 15 years.
Q. What is your best memories here at Roland Garros?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I had so many. Probably of course
the one I did the heart in the first match. The most
intense one. And probably today it's going to be the
second, you know, the one that's going to stick with
me, also, more often.
But I had a great time here playing over the years,
one after the other. Always being successful, I
always had some emotion going on. Good connection
with the crowd, too.
So this particular tournament is really like home
for me. I feel myself so comfortable. Every time I
get very anxious. And like I said, I'm really
excited just to be out here and playing.
Q. Maybe you are the first guy in history that you
lose a match and receive a trophy. What do you think
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No. When I lose in the final I have
a trophy, too, sometimes (laughter.)
But I get ‑‑ it was a great memory for me, and I
didn't expect. I received not only the trophy but
nice words, too, from the president, you know. He
thanked me for everything that I could agree for the
tournament, the way I play, and then the joy that
the people have, watch my play.
So for me, that's great. I guess goes over my
expectations. It's not only the way I'm playing and
how I hit the ball, but also the way I face the
game, I think, was very important. And to be out
there today playing against a French player and
having more support than him is not usual at all.
So for me, it was, like I said, a great day for me.
I just have to be very honored for ‑‑ for today and
everything that really happened for me, especially
Q. What do you think you will miss the most in
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I guess these days before the
competition. The match itself, once you are there,
the part that you can, you know, live the joy of
playing breakpoints, set points, you know, playing
‑‑ having these feelings that I think only the
sports can bring it over.
But I guess I had my time, too. I really been very
intense for the time that I was around, so this ‑‑
I'm not going to have it anymore, but I think I'm
not going to miss that much. I really feel as I had
my job done.
For now, maybe I find another way to feel myself as
happy as I was playing tennis.
Q. So now it's time for party?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: No, I'm very serious man, you know.
Brazil, we don't like parties. (laughter.)
No, it's time probably to have more priorities for
my personal life, too. Get myself more structure,
you know, have time off to think about it, to rest a
Like I said, my life, you know, becomes something
very huge ‑‑ it takes a lot of effort to deal day by
day, especially in Brazil, you know. I'm really a
big icon in Brazil. Every day they come to me and
look as a different person.
That's probably now an adaptation that I have to do.
See what's going to get myself interesting in the
future. Probably rest for a little bit, but also I
like to be active doing something. So maybe around
tennis and my foundation I will find nice things to
Q. It was hard for some of us to hear your speech on
the court. Can you just tell us what the most
important part of those words was?
GUSTAVO KUERTEN: I know why it was hard, because my
French is terrible. (laughter.)
No, I try just to say first that for me was really
important that the feeling and the success I had
here in my three wins over these times.
But what feels even more important, and the real
meaning for me, that today even I had another great
example. The love that people treat me here, the way
I could get them involved with my game and with
This, I think, was the highest victory for me. And
then the other thing that I said was just about how
I said, Now it's about tennis. That means, you know,
this part of my life was really intense and like my
blood. I live this very intense.
This tournament was the most special and most
motivation ‑‑ motivate tournament that keeps me
going, like my love, my heart, and everything. So
that was basically two things that I tried to say in
French, but I think nobody understand me.