Former World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten: Sporting Events Must Not Rush to Return

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Former World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten: Sporting Events Must Not Rush to Return

Former tennis world No. 1 and three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten says he is not in favour of sports returning too quickly from the current shutdowns due to the global crisis. The 43-year-old Brazilian said sports should take a backseat in the current fight against COVID-19 which has claimed more than 225,000 lives all across the world.

Speaking during an Instagram live session with his fans, Kuerten says, “Sport is an eternal passion, that inspires and motivates us. It’s a part of life. But there are some other things that are more important. We need to wait and only return when the time is right.

We can’t rush back. The main priority now is to fight this [disease] with all of our strength”. Kuerten, who won more than $14 million in career prize money, was also in support of plans to help lower ranked players during the current crisis.

“There’s no way to ignore it now. When you allocate a large portion of the prize money to the top 10 or 15 players, the rest are left to eat clay or grass to survive. “The best players are the reason why there is so much money in the game but, on the other hand, the sport only exists because there are other players too.

The inequality has become too great and now is the time to think about fixing the situation." Kuerten won the French Open in 1997, 2000, and 2001 and was the Tennis Masters Cup champion in 2000. During his career he won 20 singles and 8 doubles titles.

He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012 and in 2016, he was asked to be the torch bearer for the Rio Olympics.