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Guga says goodbye to tennis world
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Wearing the shirt that he wore in his 1997 championship performance at Roland Garros, Gustavo Kuerten on Sunday gracefully said goodbye to the sport after his first round loss in Paris.

The Brazilian tennis player faced the 19th-ranked Paul-Henri Mathieu and lost in three straight sets (6-3, 6-4 and 6-2).

Thus, Brazil's best tennis player has officially retired from the singles tennis world, though he still has one last attempt in the doubles competition for a victory before hanging up his racquet.

In a stadium full of Brazilians displaying flags and banners, Guga tried his best to pull off a victory in his last singles performance in his farewell tour. His French opponent was the highest ranked player he faced in his goodbye tour. However, Mathieu won the game with ease in three straight sets.

Before leaving the court, Guga said that "Roland Garros is my life, my passion and my love. It is great to be here with my family and my coach. More importantly, all the love you guys have given me is unforgettable."

Kuerten's professional career has ended at the age of 31 years old. The player won 20 titles and was ranked as No. 1 in the world for 43 consecutive weeks.

Before leaving the Roland Garros and his professional career, Guga will participate in the doubles tournament along with Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean. Together they will face Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut on Tuesday night.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)


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