MIAMI, March 31 /PRNewswire – HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Celebrities, tennis players, VIPs, fans and top international media turned out for the Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) Latinos in Tennis celebration in Miami on Friday night, March 28. Hosted by the ATP and co-sponsored by EPIC Residences & Hotel, Diageo, PORCAO Rio’s Churrascaria Restaurant Miami and Amazonia Premium water, the celebration combined Brazilian food and drinks as well as a live samba band with a typical Miami ambiance on a rooftop terrace overlooking the water and the Miami skyline at EPIC Residences & Hotel. The evening culminated with a special tribute to Brazilian tennis player Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten, who is playing at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open for the last time.
Guga, who recently announced his retirement, will be remembered by his colleagues and fans through his many accomplishments. As a three-time Roland Garros winning ATP player and former world No. 1 player in the world, Guga leaves an impressive legacy on the tennis world.
“The Miami tournament has been a very special stop on the ATP tour in my career,” said Guga. “I have always loved playing here and having this party is a tremendous honor. This is a very special evening with all the people who came out to support me and who put the effort into making it happen, the ATP organizing it for me; it is everything you work for all your career. It’s always been important for me to feel I could make an impact on people’s lives, not only on the court, through my passion and my love for tennis, but also off the court. I have been very fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living and have received so much more than I could ever have imagined in my wildest dreams. All I can say is thank you. I really enjoyed every single minute of my professional career, even when it was tough, practicing, rehab and physiotherapy. I hope we will continue to see players showing their passion and giving their hearts out on the court. I will surely continue to be involved in tennis, helping develop it in Brazil as well as continuing my work with my foundation.”
The event, which took place in the heart of downtown Miami on the rooftop of the EPIC Residences & Hotel luxury waterfront sales center, attracted celebrities and VIPs from across the Americas including Sports Illustrated model and host of Brazil’s Next Top Model Fernanda Motta, editor of Vogue Magazine Latin America Eva Hughes, Telemundo anchor Candela Ferro, telenovela actor Khotan Fernandez, America’s Next Top Model judge Noel Marin, and Robert Scheidt, Brazilian sailing two time Olympic champion and nine-time world champion.
Many ATP tennis players also turned out to pay tribute to Guga and celebrate their sport including No. 3 player in the world Novak Djokovic, former tennis player Anna Kournikova, former No. 1 ranked player Juan Carlos Ferrero and No. 1 ranked doubles team Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram. In addition, players such as Nicolas Almagro, Santiago Giraldo, Flavia Penetta, Tatiana Golovin and Nicolas Lapentti were also in attendance.
At the event, Guga was presented with an honorary plaque by Andre Silva, Chief Player Officer of the ATP, who also spoke about the rise of Latinos in tennis. “We currently have 13 Latinos in the top 100 ATP ranking,” said Silva. “There’s much to celebrate tonight and with so many rising stars out there coming from Latin America, we have a feeling this trend will continue for some time.” Nicolas Lapentti, Ecuadorian ATP player and one of Guga’s best friends,presented Guga with an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
About the ATP
With 63 tournaments in 30 countries, the ATP showcases the finest athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP Rankings and the top tandems in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race contend for prestigious titles at ATP Masters Series and other ATP tournaments. For more information, visit www.ATPtennis.com.
EPIC Residences & Hotel, a luxury waterfront condominium development in downtown Miami, is located in the heart of the city’s hip, urban atmosphere and will include world-class restaurants, stylish lounges and a lavish spa. The 54-story tower features condominium, townhouse and penthouse residences with magnificent bay and city views. Call (305) 400-7399 or visit www.epicmiami.com.