Guga Kuerten Photo by Mike-Baz Courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Three-time French Open champion anf former No. 1 Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
As the 66th ranked player in 1997 he surprised everyone by winning the French Open. He was the second lowest ranked man to win a major championship.
“Guga” reached No. 1 in the ATP World Tour rankings in 2000 and won singles titles at Roland Garros in 1997, 2000 and 2001. He was the first South American to hold World No. 1 spot.
He won the 1997 French Open at 66th in the rankings, and became the second-lowest-ranked man to win a major championship.
Kuerten’s best year was 2001 when he won six tournaments including his third French Open.
“King of the clay courts, Guga was one of the most popular players of his era, and he achieved tremendous success during a time when some of the greatest players in history were active, including Hall of Famers Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Michael Chang,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Enshrinee Nominating Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I extend sincere congratulations to Guga on this well-deserved honor. We look forward to celebrating with him and all of the Class of 2012 inductees in July.”
Kuerten won the ATP World Tour’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2003, and in 2010, he was honored with the Philippe Chatrier Award by the International Tennis Federation.
Kuerten opened the Institute Guga Kuerten to help disabled people in 2000. He was inspired by his late brother Guilherme, who had cerebral palsy
On July 14, Kuerten will be inducted into the class of 2012 along with 1975 U.S. Open champion Manuel Orantes, administrator and promoter Mike Davies, and the late wheelchair champion and pioneer Randy Snow.