Most Memorable French Open Moments, Honorable Mention: Guga Loves Paris

Gustavo Kuerten, affectionately known as “Guga,” was one of the most charismatic champions of all time. Lighting up tennis stadiums with his mega-watt smile and captivating the media with his laid-back surfer attitude, the Brazilian was a rare combo of champion-meets-all-around-good-guy.

I'm just so happy to be here!

I’m just so happy to be here!

While Guga never achieved major heights off of clay (his biggest non-clay title was arguably the 2000 Tennis Masters Cup during which he beat Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi back-to-back and claimed the world #1 ranking), he did win 3 French Open titles in 1997, 2000, and 2001.

After his final French victory in 2001, Guga- as if sensing this would be his last title at Roland Garros- made what is perhaps one of the charming if not borderline cheesy gestures in the sport’s long history:

This heart-in-the-clay moment perfectly encapsulated the way the tennis world felt at that moment: Guga loved Paris, and the rest of the world loved Guga.

 

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