BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: French Open: Our Man in Paris  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Friday, 8 June, 2001, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Kuerten happy with 'perfect job'
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Ferrero was outplayed against the reigning champion
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Perry at Roland Garros

Gustavo Kuerten put on a feast of almost perfect tennis in defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4 6-4 6-3 in the semi-finals of the French Open.

These two were far and away the top two players in the world on clay coming into the tournament, so all seemed set for an epic match.

The pair had met at the same stage at Roland Garros last year and Kuerten had come back from two sets to one down to win in five sets, while Ferrero had performed a similar feat in their only match-up this season.

But so good was Kuerten's play that Ferrero just did not get a look in.


I was a Picasso on the court
Kuerten's on Yevgeny Kafelnikov's comment
"I cannot wish to play better than this, I can just wish to play as well," said Kuerten. "It was really a perfect job today on the court."

"I feel like I was playing my best tennis. Of course I missed quite a lot of shots but I was moving well and was seeing my targets - I was aggressive.

"My attitude had to be strong - I couldn't let him control the match or let him be free to think about what he wants to do."

Guga spoke of feeling "blessed" after he came back from match point down in his game with Michael Russell in the last 16, and he believes he now has nothing to lose.

And he showed the full repertoire of shots he has been blessed with in this victory as he ripped winners from all sides.

"I feel when I'm playing my best tennis I know I can beat the other guys, and when I really feel the ball, well, it's tough on the other guy," he said.

"Today I tried to believe what Kafelnikov said that I was a Picasso on the court."

It was a hard defeat for Ferrero to take - he clearly had high hopes of claiming a first Grand Slam title.


I'm still young and I still have some time
Ferrero on his future
"At the beginning it was very different and I had so many things going through my mind. I had so many opportunities but I could not take them.

"If I'd won the first set maybe I would have been able to be more confident," he said. "But I lost the first set and got discouraged."

Certainly Ferrero did have opportunities - he won just two of 16 break points - and had he taken them the match may well have been different.

But in truth, Kuerten did not let Ferrero take those chances, as the Brazilian raised his level at the crucial moments.

Ferrero actually did very little wrong in the match, although he felt he lost the game in his mind.

Strong favourite

"It's not my biggest defeat, it's one of them, but I'm still young and I still have some time," he said

"I have other opportunities, but I'm mad about this defeat because if I had been better mentally I could have played better and I could have won."

Kuerten will now be a strong favourite to join a select band of players to have won three titles at Roland Garros.

Only Bjorn Borg and Henri Cochet have won more than three times, but, aged just 24, Guga must have a great chance of doing even that.

French Open site

Latest news

Perry in Paris

Clickable guides

French Open flashback

PHOTO GALLERIES

AUDIO/VIDEO

SPORTS TALK

OTHER TENNIS

BBC COVERAGE

INTERNET LINK
Links to more Our Man in Paris stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Our Man in Paris stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales