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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 12:10 GMT
19 Gustavo Kuerten
Gustavo Kuerten
Born: 10/9/76
Nationality: Brazilian
Seeded: 19
World ranking: 19
Australian Open best:
2nd round (five times)
Recent record:
2003: 2nd round
2002: 1st round
2001: 2nd round
Former world number one Kuerten remains a hugely popular figure around the world, but is not the force he once was.

After claiming the number one ranking in December 2000, injuries made it impossible for the Brazilian to hang on to the top spot for long.

Thankfully Kuerten looks back to full fitness but it remains doubtful whether he will hit the heights that saw him win three French Open titles in five years.

However, he still possesses a truly world-class game, with a backhand to rival any on the tour, and is capable of beating the very best.

His record at the Australian Open is surprisingly poor and he has never done better than the second round.

But the hardcourt form is still there, as he showed in Indian Wells in March last year with victories over Roger Federer, James Blake and Rainer Schuettler on his way to the final.

He also won the St Petersburg indoor title towards the end of last season, one of two trophies he collected.

At 26 years old Kuerten has plenty of time to get back to the top of the game but at Grand Slam level he still has plenty to prove away from Roland Garros.

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