Who is Gustavo Kuerten, Pele’s replacement at Rio 2016 opening ceremony? | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Who is Gustavo Kuerten, Pele’s replacement at Rio 2016 opening ceremony?

Kuerten, a former French Open champion, was the clay court specialist before the arrival of Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The face of Brazil tennis in the late 90s and early 2000s, he won the title at Roland Garros in 1997, 2000 and 2001. He was also part of Brazil’s tennis team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Games.

olympics 2016 Updated: Aug 06, 2016 04:59 IST
HT Correspondent
Former Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten is a three-time French Open champion.
Former Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten is a three-time French Open champion.(Reuters)

With Brazil legend Pele unable to take part in the Rio Olympic Games opening ceremony, where he was supposed to light the cauldron, the organisers roped in Gustavo Kuerten.

Kuerten, a former French Open champion, was the clay court specialist before the arrival of Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The face of Brazil tennis in the late 90s and early 2000s, he won the title at Roland Garros in 1997, 2000 and 2001. He was also part of Brazil’s tennis team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Games.

Kuerten held the ATP No 1 ranking for 43 weeks, from 2000 to 2001. He has 28 titles against his name, including 20 in singles and 8 in doubles. He was also the first Brazilian to be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in July 2012.

More recently, he was part of the Rio 2016 Sport Advisory Committee.