PARIS:Having won three French Open titles, Gustavo Kuerten knows how difficult and draining winning a Grand Slam on the red dirt is. Which is why he still can’t get his mind around the fact that Rafael Nadal has achieved the feat nine times in the last 10 years.
“His spaceship is parked here somewhere,” said the former World No 1, who launched his book ‘Guga’ at Roland Garros on Friday. “Because he is not from this world.”
Kuerten presented a young Nadal the Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2007 and will hand over the trophy to the men’s singles winner this year as well. “I didn’t expect him to win that much, but perhaps neither did he,” added the 1997, 2000 and 2001 French Open champ.
“Because it’s really too much — nine of ten years. I’m sure it will never happen again. It’s impossible. If he could think this way it would be amazing, but he lives this way. It’s amazing. Every day he is building on it. Earlier it wasn’t so clear for me, but I watched when he won the fifth or the sixth title. He was raising the trophy, and I could see he was already thinking about the following year.
“It’s easy to talk about this and to try and tell your player or friends, ‘oh, put this in your head, believe in yourself.’ But it’s really hard to do.”