October 10, 2015

On the Red Carpet with Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten at the Legends Ball


Gustavo Kuerten photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

By Karen Pestaina

NEW YORK, NY (September 7, 2012) – Tennis Panorama News caught up with recent inductee to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten at the Legends Ball held during the US Open at Cipriani’s on East 42nd Street.

Kuerten spoke about what it means to him to be in the Hall of Fame and his involvement in his foundation.

Gustavo Kuerten talks to Tennis Panorama News



From the International Tennis Hall of Fame website:

One of Brazil’s most beloved and successful athletes, Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten, received the highest honor in the sport of tennis– induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Guga was the world’s No. 1 player for 43 non-consecutive weeks, and he is a three-time major tournament champion, having captured French Open titles in 1997, 2000, and 2001. Gustavo Kuerten’s induction was announced in a special presentation in São Paulo at the offices of Banco do Brasil, a long-time sponsor of the tennis champion.

With his beaming smile, engaging personality, and high energy game, the lively atmosphere that Guga brought to tennis stadiums around the world was nothing short of extraordinary.  Universally adored by both fans and peers, the Brazilian star is quick to state that the feeling is mutual, and that this support was integral to his success.  

Often referred to as “King of the Clay Courts”, although it was not a final, Guga often cites his fourth round French Open match in 2000 as one of the most memorable and treasured of his career. After saving three match points for the win, Guga first etched his iconic heart in the clay court, in an expression of love for his fans.

In 1997, Guga was ranked world No. 66 and had just eight ATP World Tour level wins to his name when he entered Roland Garros. While no one may have seen Guga coming that year, when he lifted the champion’s trophy and thanked the fans with his giant smile, it was clear that a star had arrived.  In the years that followed, Guga became one of the most dominant clay court players of his time. He captured the French Open title again in 2000 and 2001, and won a total of 20 singles titles and 8 doubles titles.

Guga started playing tennis when he was six years old, and his family was always very much part of his career. His father, a talented player himself, first taught Guga the game, before tragically passing away when Guga was just eight years old. Guga’s mother supported her son’s career emphatically. His older brother, Raphael, served as his business manager. His younger brother, Guilherme, who had cerebral palsy, was undoubtedly one of his biggest fans. Guga presented Guilherme every one of his tournament trophies, including the coveted Roland Garros trophies.

In 2000, for the first time in history, the No. 1 year-end position came down to the final match of season. Guga defeated superstar Andre Agassi in the match, breaking an eight-year reign of No. 1 finishes by Americans. It was the first time that a South American had ever been ranked world No. 1, a position Guga held for 43 weeks over his career. 

That same year, Guga embarked on another important venture, to which he is still dedicated today. Inspired by his late brother, Guilherme, he opened the Institute Guga Kuerten to help disabled people. The institute is dedicated to providing developmental opportunities, sports, and education, as well as to promoting social inclusion throughout the nation. The institute is located in Guga’s hometown of Florianopolis, Brazil, and since its inception, it has assisted more than 40,000 people in over 168 Brazilian cities. Guga was awarded 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. Currently, he works in order to win a new challenge: to support the social activities developed by Institute Guga Kuerten.

A national hero to Brazilians,  champion beloved by tennis fans worldwide, three-time winner at Roland Garros,  world No. 1, and now, a Tennis Hall of Famer, Guga Kuerten.

Grand Slam Record

French Open

Career Achievements


Sharapova Launches Sugarpova Candy at Henri Bendel in New York City

NEW YORK – Maria Sharapova – tennis player, designer and endorser of many products is now a candy entrepreneur. On Monday on Fifth Avenue the four-time major winner and current World No. 3 launched her own candy line called “Sugarpova.” It features 12 different types of treats for sweets consumers which range from gummies and licorice to tennis ball shaped gumballs.
Sharapova spoke about why she went into candy-making business in the first place. “I’ve always had a sweet-tooth, she explained. “My earliest memory was being a kid asking my parents after practice if I could have a lollipop, the tough-to-find European lollipops. If you have a great week of practice you can get it.” Sharapova told herself. “That’s kind of where it started.”
“I’m a big “foodie” with a big sweet-tooth,” she said. Sharapova said that she’s always looking for a treat that you can have after a good workout and trying to be healthy.
“So I wanted to own my own business for awhile and I’ve been part of many great collaborations and collections,” Sharapova added. “But I felt it was really time tostart things on my own a little bit – be involved make the final decisions. “it’s been 18 months sinceit all started. To see it at Henri Bendel’s is incredible.”
Sharapova’s favorite of her candy wares is named “quirky” – a licorice with marshmallow inside with a rainbow on the outside. The Russian is also reponsible for the concept and development of the products as well. “I went to the factory Spain and made sure that they, you know when things are getting mass produced it can lose it’s quality a little bit. From the beginning I wanted it to be a premium candy line from the packaging to the quality of the candies, that was very important to me.” For example Sharapova wanted the “tennis gum balls” to look exactly like tennis balls. “All those little things really matter,” Sharapova noted.
Sharapova is set to play the US Open  where she’ll be the third seed in the Women’s singles draw. The tournament begins next week.


Listen to the short interview she did with Tennis Panorama.

Maria Sharapova at Sugarpova Launch


Podcast – Meet the Pliskovas of the Philadephia Freedoms

RANDALL’S ISLAND, New York, NY – In World Team Tennis on Friday night the the NY Sportimes defeated the Philadelphia Freedoms 22-16. Among the players on the Freedoms’ roster are twins out of the Czech Republic – right-handed Karolina and left-handed Kristyna Pliskova.

The 20-year-old Pliskovas are  currently ranked 107 (Karolina) and 125 (Kristyna) and  are playing their first season of World TeamTennis.

The sisters paired up in women’s doubles to stop  Ashley Harkleroad and Martina Hingis of the Sportimes 5-2, while Kristyna lost to Martina Hingis in singles 5-3 and Karolina paired with Jordan Kerr to fall 5-3 in the mixed doubles.

The sisters took time out to talk about their respective goals and their favorite cities.

Pliskova twins and WTT July 13, 2012


Serena Williams at Niketown (Videos and Podcast)

NEW YORK, NY (August 26, 2011) – Serena Williams made a visit to Niketown  New York on Friday afternoon to address children from the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL), MS 35 and the City Parks Foundation. She spoke about tennis, her career and her thoughts ahead of next week’s US Open.

Watch the videos


Nike NYC Lights on. Lights Out. News Conference with Nadal, Federer, Sharapova and Azarenka on GVTN Podcast

John McEnroe, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka held a post event news conference. Take a listen, it’s amusing.

MP3 file Runs 17 minutes

Download | Duration: 00:17:23



Jamaica’s Dustin Brown Continuing a Career season

Dustin Brown

(August 23, 2010) NEW HAVEN, Connecticut – Born to a Jamaican Father and  German mother in Celle Germany, the current world ranked No. 113 reached a career high 98 in singles in late July. He’s racked up some solid wins this season over very highly ranked players including Sam Querrey and Marco Chiudinelli.

Dustin Brown first played tennis at the age of five while living in Germany and moved to Jamaica at the age of 12. He grew up admiring  Marat Safin. The hard-hitting serve and volleying Jamaican is in New Haven playing the Pilot Pen tournament this week.

As of Sunday Brown reached the main draw by winning three qualifying matches in less than 24 hours. He’ll be playing Czech Jan Hajek in his first round match on Monday.

Global Village Tennis News briefly spoke to Brown to discuss his “career” year and what it took to move up the ATP World Tour rankings and about what are his current goals.

MP3 file

Download | Duration: 00:01:49

On Itunes:


To learn more about Dustin Brown please visit ATPWorldTour.com.