O caso é de amor mesmo. Entra ano e sai ano, e Guga continua sendo homenageado, lembrado, festejado em Roland Garros.
O dia 08 de junho marca os 20 anos da primeira conquista do brasileiro em Paris. As outras vieram no ano 2000 e 2001.
A cada ano a Federação Francesa de Tênis encontra um motivo para celebrar o brasileiro, o surfista do saibro que mudou para sempre o jeito de se jogar tênis no saibro e acima de tudo, de se conectar com o público.
Com cabelos encaracolados – desengonçados, andar leve, roupas coloridas, bandanas, uma serenidade fora do comum e um sorriso contagiante conquistou o público com sua simplicidade e garra natural.
A conexão estabelecida com o público o transformou em estrela na França. Até hoje tem patrocinadores franceses – Lacoste e Peugeot, vem frequentemente ao país e é celebrado até mais do que outros campeões com mais títulos do que ele.
Hoje em Paris não foi diferente.
Começou o dia com uma coletiva na sala de imprensa principal de Roland Garros. Que outro ex-campeão faz coletiva e encontra uma sala lotada às 11h, 4 horas antes dos jogos principais começarem?
E depois é levado para o Village, a área VIP de Roland Garros e é parado por Boris Becker, John McEnroe e Mats Wilander e homenageado dentro do “stand” da FFT.
Guga ganhou uma nova réplica da quadra com o desenho de um coração no vidro, ouviu um belo discurso de Guy Forget, recebeu os cumprimentos do Presidente da FFT atual, Bernard Giudiccelli e do antigo, Jean Gachassin, lembrou da sua equipe, da mãe que está com ele em Paris, do técnico Larri Passos e foi ainda agraciado com a presença do Braguinha (Antônio Carlos de Almeida Braga), com mobilidade bem limitada, que fez questão de passar por Roland Garros para cumprimentar o amigo.
Thomaz Koch também passou por lá para abraçar o compatriota.
Durante a tarde as aparições continuariam e no domingo, dia da final, antes da grande decisão masculina começar ele receberá o Anel do Hall of Fame, na Philippe Chatrier, acompanhado de outros grandes da história do esporte.
Veja abaixo alguns trechos da entrevista do brasileiro em Roland Garros, ao lado do também embaixador do Hall of Fame, Stan Smith:
As more the time goes away, after 20 years, I believe it’s a proper timing to analyze more deeply. You can see clear that is not one human being title or triumph. It’s many life involved. It’s a lot of efforts and
achievements that’s today I believe we celebrating the happening.
You know, it’s not only Guga that’s amazing guy. I’m sure it’s not coincidence that Diana is here. She was together with us and Larri and my mother that’s around here. What’s different now that I have two
sons? They can enjoy? I make sure they come over so they will be around today, too, for flavoring.
I believe what stick to us is the feelings, you know. The shots, they are there. We can see at the video. But the feelings, they remain with us forever
Actually, we come here to win one match, ’97.
One match was enough. I never had passed the second round in any Grand Slams. I had played three in all my life. So this was a kind of run you normally don’t see.
Still these days I can tell how it happens, just seeing the matches, analyze a little, but you cannot explain, you know, deeply.
But we were somehow prepared. We came here with a lot of desire on this way and very young. So we just, so funny. Was the happiest Roland Garros I played in my life. Also, because I didn’t know what all
’97, I start to discover new worlds or galaxy every single day.
Every match I face, from Bjorkman to Muster, then Medvedev, Kafelnikov, the semifinal against Dewulf, and finally getting Bruguera at the end, it’s like, Oh, man, this exists. I can be part of it.
Because as Brazilian, also sometimes for us it’s a different approach. Because tennis, now it’s more universal. But before it used to be more local successful, acquired by the United States or Europe,
So for us as Brazilian, we dream of bigger ball. We have also believe we have success much more in soccer, but tennis was very hard to imagine.
And certainly getting here was trying also to prove myself that could happen to us. Nobody expects, even Larri that was the most optimist from all of us, expect us to go farther than the second week or fourth round, something like this, and it would be already celebrating time.
But at the same way, we were celebrating hard, very satisfied, but not accommodate every single round, which, why we don’t try a little bit more and see what happen?
Sometimes I told was perhaps my last chance. I didn’t have the truly, deeply belief that I was part of this great players. I just said — and even today, to listen, the players that we are there, the Hall of Fame,
that already received the ring, it’s very emotional to hear these words and to think like we are able to get to this select and privilege players to flavor this had happened.
So we, as it happened ’97, we came here to our playground to have fun, to discover
My grandmother arrive on the semifinal. She look around, she say,
Oh, it’s nice here. That’s how we dialogue with the French Open.
It’s the only chance I had, because if I knew a little bit deeper, it’s scary, as you know. First time I went to Court No. 1 and then Suzanne Lenglen and finally to the central court, it’s a world to try to control.
And the kids, 20-year-olds coming, you know, hair all around and the clothes. Now it’s better. Lacostehelped me a lot in this yellow and blue shirt, and this tennis player, Brazil, is no-sense story. But with a lot
of belief, I think this was the difference.
We really believe it was possible. That’s the only way
you are able to do it.
Foto de Cynthia Lum