French Open Champs Gaudio, Ferrero Headline ATP Brazil Open
Posted on February 20, 2006
Top-seeded former Roland Garros winners Gaston Gaudio and Juan Carlos Ferrero will attempt to navigate a field of "B"-level claycourt specialists this week at the Brazil Open in Costa Do Sauipe.
Gaudio pulled out of Buenos Aires last week with a shoulder injury, while Ferrero lost to eventual champ Carlos Moya in the B.A. final.
Also seeded are Buenos Aires runner-up Filippo Volandri of Italy, Frenchman Florent Serra, Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela, Reigning Olympic champion Nicolas Massu, Spaniard Al Martin, and Serb Boris Pashanski.
Brazilian hero Gustavo Kuerten is unseeded, while the three wildcards went to Brazilians Ricardo Mello, Andre Ghem and Andre Sa.
Gaudio opens against a qualifier, Ferrero against Brazil's Flavio Saretta, and Kuerten against countryman Ghem.
Absent from this year's field is 2005 champion Rafael Nadal, who defeated A.Martin 6-0, 6-7(2), 6-1 in the 2005 final. Guillermo Coria, Jose Acasuso and Agustin Calleri all pulled from the event before the Monday start, citing injury.
Kuerten (2004,'02) is the lone returning champ in the field.