Thanks to the round-robin format making its debut in South America, Gustavo Kuerten still has a chance to make the quarterfinals of the Movistar Open in Viña del Mar on his comeback to the ATP after nearly a year due to injury.
The former world No. 1, beloved superstar, and three-time Roland Garros champion played his first round-robin match against Spaniard Oscar Hernandez who won in two tough tiebreaks, 7-6(2), 7-6(3).
“I felt I was playing well,” said Kuerten after the match. “I obviously was lacking rhythm but I felt I was controlling the match at times. I think it's probably at the end that I played the best. I really had my chances to win that second tie-break. I also need to acknowledge that he played a very solid match; he gave away very few points and lifted his level in the key moments.
“Now I want to try to keep playing the way I played today. I have another singles match tomorrow and I still have the chance to qualify into the quarters.”
Former No. 1 Marcelo Rios was also supposed to make a one-off comeback at this event but he withdrew last Saturday with a back injury, the same ailment that drove him from the game in the first place.