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INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY


July 14, 2012


Alice Kuerten

Gustavo Kuerten


NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND


ALICE KUERTEN:テつ Good afternoon.テつ Let me speak with the heart.テつ We need to cry.
I apologize if my English is not good enough, but I will do my best to translate the feelings I have in my heart into words.
I am a very happy mother of three wonderful sons, Rafael, Gustavo, and Guilherme, the later having already become a star in heaven with his father.
By virtue of being Brazilian, we are a people that intensely experience union, alliance, group and collective endeavors.テつ For this reason, sports like soccer and volleyball excel in our society.
But there was a young man who decided to break away, turning a more individual sport into paving a way for success.テつ This slim, tall, curly haired boy, sometimes referred to as surfer, sometimes called Picasso of the courts, and still other times simply as a boy, is Gustavo Kuerten, most often known as Guga.
Guga is now a man who succeeded in life by challenging his own limits and also his socioeconomic impossibilities.テつ He succeeded because he believed in himself and because he loved intensely.
Guga lived every moment of his life with passion, especially in regards to his sporting life.テつ He fought in every match until the last minute.テつ He always believed he could win.テつ He cried when he lost and smiled when he won.
Guga won the respect and admiration of people through his conduct in tennis and in life, and he captured the love of children who turned him into a model to be followed.
Through his achievements Guga brought the sport of tennis into the spotlight in Brazil.テつ Tennis found new followers from all regions and all walks of life.テつ Some of his followers played with racquets, but others with wood sticks, but all tried to imitate the one who gave them so much happiness.
Because of Guga, reports (indiscernible) as a soccer game, I could see and understand Guga's game.
Therefore, I today introduce, ladies and gentlemen, this boy who at present is a father and who shows every day to our country, Brazil, and we might even say to the whole world that dreaming is allowed and believing in dreams, while fighting for them with discipline, dedication, humbleness and perseverance is a way to make them come true.
Even though his dreams were interrupted due to some injuries, Guga still provides socially and economically vulnerable children with opportunities related to sport, arts and culture that allow them to glimpse a world with more dignity.テつ Guga continues to devote himself to the development of tennis, creating new projects and supporting others.
I didn't mention his titles and material achievements because they are known and visible to everybody.テつ I chose to talk about things that cannot be seen but that can be felt by the heart and by gratitude.
Guga is a boy, and will always be a boy, who searching for the best in others and who has given the best of himself.テつ Thanks for receiving our Guga from Brazil in this so desired spot, the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ Thank you very much.
GUSTAVO KUERTEN:テつ I thought it would take me longer to cry.テつ Okay.
I don't know what's harder for me, is to get this far in the Hall of Fame or do the speech.テつ But, as my mother told, I never give up, so I'll go ahead and let's see what happen.
First of all, is an honor to watch my mother talk about me a little bit.テつ I always get embarrassed when she talks good things about me.テつ Not today at least.テつ I was very honored.
First I would like to congratulate my fellow Hall of Famers.テつ Everyone has its single achievements, particular things that they do for tennis.テつ That's the same way I look at this sport, not only here limited to the court.
Especially big honor, Mr. Snow, to be part of your party and friends as I had a handicapped brother, as well.テつ It's a great honor for me together with your son and my brother as well getting this award.
Jennifer, I don't want to compare my career with you, otherwise they would think twice if they would accept me to the Hall of Fame.テつ I was a teenager first traveling to the United States, 13, and you the same age, being in the same final in the French Open, and Wimbledon, being top 10 in the world.テつ Better stop right here.テつ Congratulations.
And Manuel, I believe different than you.テつ Still for me, I still trying to understand or to figure out how I did end up being this privilege place.テつ I couldn't even dream to become a champion.テつ Things was too far away.テつ The distance was miles and miles away.テつ Perhaps the one who could dream at the beginning was my father, the person that I believe got me to love this game.テつ He's still the one I first remember when (indiscernible) went back to Brazil and got me to know I was part of this amazing experience.テつ He's my father, my idol, so he's the one I dedicate the most this title as I can call, I believe.
I'm sorry, as you see, I didn't write anything.テつ My English, you could tell, is not that good.テつ Imagine if I have to write it, then would be a hard time and would take forever (laughter).
But what I was try to tell in this brief moments, few minutes, is how it really could happen.テつ I believe I had to find a way to relate tennis and the right people inside of me, surround me.テつ On this way I start to understand, and tennis introduce me to people and show me experience that I believe my life is not all about tennis but tennis is in every single thing of my life, that's for sure.
So I got to live my best experience on tennis.テつ As the first I can remember, my father give me the racquet for the first time.テつ Also tennis took him away from me as he pass away umpiring a game.テつ I was three times Grand Slam champion.テつ It's a great honor.テつ But I had the experience in our life, as my mother, it happened to us that we almost sell the house, we sell the car, we sell the piano, we sell everything for me to be able to travel around.テつ We didn't know where we were going.テつ We know we were in the right track, in the right way, but we didn't know where we were going.テつ We just was confidence that we will find a nice finish.
At the same time tennis took away my father, it give me two fathers instead.テつ Larri, my coach is here, and my other brother Raphael.
It seems like it's how life it is.テつ It start to play with you as the game.テつ It start to challenge you sometime.テつ This was perhaps the most fortunate thing it happen to me, even knowing that I had to drop of having a father to get to know this guy Larri who made me believe that I could go farther, who before I even imagined existed a Hall of Fame of tennis, I could live professional tennis. テつHe knew already I could be a No.1 in the world.
So this is how I so much appreciated what I have, what tennis brought to me.テつ So many nice people, important people, great memories.テつ It's easy to difference the happiest one and the tough ones, the dramatics, the sad ones, as you see.テつ But every single one, even the hardest I had, it's very valuable.テつ This what made myself today who I am.テつ I believe instead of me here, these persons should be the ones to receive this honor with me.
I'm forgetting a little bit of my grandmother.テつ If I don't talk about her, I know she will give me trouble when I'm back home.テつ She was known as my coach, advice, I know I extend her life for some years as she's still there.テつ It happened to us in 2000, she said, Larri lives 70 kilometers in the same city of her.テつ I ask all the weekends, Please, grandmother, come to our house, we have a barbecue, we can do lunch.テつ No, it's too far away.テつ Then French Open semifinal, very close.テつ She was ready (laughter).
I think I was successful enough to translate a little bit what my life is and how I got here very spontaneously with all these people connect to me and learning from tennis that it depends a lot how we look at things.テつ Perhaps tennis teach me to look at the grayest picture or even the harder experience with colorful lights or in a colorful way.
So like this I just want to thank so much to let me in for this place that was few years ago still unknown by myself.テつ It's an honor to see the flag of my country, to sing the Brazilian anthem here, and still being able to achieve things for me as by fellow countries.テつ So this day will be intense in my mind as I hope my contribution of tennis, it doesn't stop right here.テつ I hope I can do more.テつ As my mother's example, it's easy to say.テつ I hope I can go farther.
The only thing that tennis didn't give to me, and perhaps is one of the most important things in my life, is to meet my wife, a very, very special person, a great mother.テつ We just had a daughter a few months ago.テつ She never watch one single match of me.テつ I have to complain about this.テつ She cannot be perfect (laughter).テつ But she is perfect.
I live these great moments being able to celebrate.テつ I know, because of that, I could use tennis to tell her history to get in love with me, that's for sure.テつ I even told her that I won three times as well Australia, Wimbledon and US Open.テつ She believed it (laughter).テつ Then she accepted to marry me.テつ I know it wasn't for that.
It's lovely to see all of you here, even her family, Larri's family, people who work with me now, Luciano, Jorgi, who were with me from the beginning, who got me the first contract in the Orange Bowl, otherwise we had to stop.テつ Was hard times.テつ Andre here, too, in ATP.テつ Everybody, the Brazilians, I can see the flags and the shirts around.
I think especially comparing with the ones here who receive the award, I did a little.テつ But it's increase.テつ So I will get going and in the future I hope to be back here as I felt as home, especially with this warm weather.
Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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