Gustavo Kuerten and some important Brazilian athletes have joined together to try to raise as many funds as possible for the Brazilian families in difficulty due to the Coronavirus emergency. The former World number 1 has also asked for the support of two authentic legends such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who have not thought twice about supporting the ‘Vencendo Juntos’ project.
“I discovered living with the family, several learnings. My daughter [Maria Augusta] summed it up well: the hard part is out there. We can feel people’s sadness, the real challenges. The reality is on the streets, on the corners, all over Brazil.
But it is maintaining confidence. Hope, faith, discipline and respect will be decisive now,” said ‘Guga’
Djokovic on his time in Rio
During his interaction with the three-time Roland Garros champion, Novak Djokovic recalled his time in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
“I remember the day we played at Maracanazinho. I remember Rio well. I remember well, it was three of the best days of my life.” Kuerten won the match 7-6 (9) 7-5, with around 10,000 raucous fans in the packed stadium cheering him on wildly.
“I’ll not be able to move for days,” said Gustavo Kuerten, who had retired four years earlier due to a chronic hip injury. “The victory is important but the most important thing is to be enjoying this moment with Novak because I thought I would never relive this type of experience after my injuries.
I can’t thank Novak enough. He is aware of the impact he can make as a person and is a really special guy” – he added. “Guga (Kuerten) is one of the most charismatic players to have been involved in tennis and today he showed why.
Brazilian tennis has a great spirit and big soul. Serbia is a small country but it has a lot in common with Brazil. We are very emotive people,” said Novak Djokovic. At a press conference after the completion of the Belgrade stage of the Adria Tour, the 17-time Grand Slam champion spoke of his fond memories of playing in the Serbian Open.
“Of course I remember what happened during the Serbian Open,” Djokovic said. “I think we deserve such a tournament. We, the players but also the country that loves this sport viscerally. We will do our best to come back.
I am very connected to my country and I try to give back mostly to where I come from. It is important that all of us involved in Serbian tennis collectively try to focus on setting up the right foundations for the development of tennis (in Serbia).”