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Karol Kučera (born 4 March 1974) is a retired ATP professional male tennis player from Slovakia. He achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 6 in September 1998, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open the same year.

Karol Kučera
Country (sports) Slovakia
ResidenceMonte Carlo, Monaco
Born (1974-03-04) 4 March 1974 (age 45)
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia
Height1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Turned pro1992
Retired2005
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachMiloslav Mečíř (1997-2001)
Marian Vajda (2001-2005)
Prize money$5,061,125
Singles
Career record293–244
Career titles6
Highest rankingNo. 6 (14 September 1998)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenSF (1998)
French Open3R (1996, 2000)
Wimbledon4R (1999)
US OpenQF (1998)
Other tournaments
Tour FinalsRR (1998)
Grand Slam CupSF (1998)
Olympic Games2R (1996, 2000)
Doubles
Career record34–41
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 131 (7 June 2004)
Team competitions
Davis CupF (2005)
Hopman CupW (1998)

Contents

Tennis careerEdit

Kučera turned professional in 1992. He was a member of the Czechoslovakian Galea Cup teams in 1991 and 1992 and the 1992 European championship squad. In 1993 he qualified for his first Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

In 1995 when Kučera won his first ATP title in Rosmalen. In 1996 he played in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta where he lost to eventual gold medalist Andre Agassi.

A year later he won his second ATP title in Ostrava defeating Magnus Norman. He was runner-up in two other tournaments in Nottingham on grass to Greg Rusedski and Stuttgart Outdoor to Álex Corretja on clay.

Kučera's best year was in 1998, where he finished the year in the top 10, ranked World No. 8, which qualified him in the ATP Tour World Championship in Hannover. During the year Kučera won 2 titles in Sydney defeating Tim Henman and New Haven defeating Goran Ivanišević.

He reached another two finals, losing to Gustavo Kuerten in Stuttgart Outdoor and to World No. 1 Pete Sampras in Vienna. Overall in 1998, Kučera compiled a career high 53 match victories and earning $1,402,557.

Kučera achieved his best Grand Slam result in 1998 reaching the semi-finals of Australian Open where on his way he defeated Sergi Bruguera, Daniel Vacek, Daniel Nestor, Richard Fromberg and defending champion Pete Sampras in the quarter-finals, losing to eventual champion Petr Korda in 4 sets.

In 1999, Kučera won his fifth ATP title in Basel defeating Tim Henman in the final. After 1999, Kučera struggled with form due to a right wrist and arm injury.

After some injury plagued years, Kučera found some form again in 2003 when he finished in the top 50 for the first time since 1999. During the year he won his sixth and final tour title in Copenhagen defeating Olivier Rochus in the final.

Recently, Kučera was one of the contributing members on the Slovakian team which reached the final of the Davis Cup in 2005, eventually losing to Croatia 2–3. He announced his retirement after the final.

Style of playEdit

Miloslav Mečíř known as the "Big Cat" was Kučera's coach from 1997 to 2001. Kučera was nicknamed the "Little Cat" because of his deceptive style of play and his fluid movement around the court resembling his coach. Kučera was also coached for a time by Novak Djokovic's coach Marian Vajda.[1]

Career finalsEdit

Singles 12 (6–6)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam (0)
ATP Super 9 (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Championships Series (1)
ATP World Series (5)
Result W-L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Aug 1994 Umag, Croatia Clay   Alberto Berasategui 2–6, 4–6
Win 1–1 Jun 1995 Rosmalen, Netherlands Grass   Anders Järryd 7–6(9–7), 7–6(7–4)
Win 2–1 Oct 1997 Ostrava, Czech Republic Carpet (i)   Magnus Norman 6–2, retired
Loss 2–2 Jun 1997 Nottingham, Great Britain Grass   Greg Rusedski 4–6, 5–7
Loss 2–3 Jul 1997 Stuttgart, Germany Clay   Álex Corretja 2–6, 5–7
Win 3–3 Jan 1998 Sydney, Australia Hard   Tim Henman 7–5, 6–4
Loss 3–4 Jul 1998 Stuttgart, Germany Clay   Gustavo Kuerten 6–4, 2–6, 4–6
Win 4–4 Aug 1998 New Haven, U.S. Hard   Goran Ivanišević 6–4, 5–7, 6–2
Loss 4–5 Oct 1998 Vienna, Austria Carpet (i)   Pete Sampras 3–6, 6–7(3–7), 1–6
Win 5–5 Oct 1999 Basel, Switzerland Carpet (i)   Tim Henman 6–4, 7–6(12–10), 4–6, 4–6, 7–6(7–2)
Win 6–5 Feb 2003 Copenhagen, Denmark Hard (i)   Olivier Rochus 7–6(7–4), 6–4
Loss 6–6 Jan 2003 Chennai, India Hard   Paradorn Srichaphan 3–6, 1–6

Doubles: 4 (0–4)Edit

Result No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 1. 1994 Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia Clay   Paul Wekesa   Diego Pérez
  Francisco Roig
2–6, 4–6
Loss 2. 1996 Ostrava, Czech Republic Carpet (i)   Ján Krošlák   Sandon Stolle
  Cyril Suk
6–7, 3–6
Loss 3. 1997 Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia Clay   Dominik Hrbatý   Dinu Pescariu
  Davide Sanguinetti
6–7, 4–6
Loss 4. 1998 Dutch Open, Amsterdam, Netherlands Clay   Dominik Hrbatý   Jacco Eltingh
  Paul Haarhuis
3–6, 2–6

Singles performance timelineEdit

Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A A A A 1R 3R 2R SF QF 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R A 0 / 10 15–10
French Open A A A 1R 2R 1R 3R 1R 1R 1R 3R A 1R 1R 2R A 0 / 11 6–11
Wimbledon A A A A 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 4R 2R A A 3R 2R 2R 0 / 10 11–10
US Open A A A A 1R 1R 1R 1R QF A 1R A 2R 3R 2R 2R 0 / 10 9–10
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–1 1–3 1–4 6–4 1–4 9–4 7–3 3–4 0–1 2–3 5–4 4–4 2–2 0 / 41 41–41
Year End Championship
ATP Tour World Championships Did Not Qualify RR Did Not Qualify 0 / 1 0–3
Grand Slam Cup Did Not Qualify SF DNQ Not Held 0 / 1 2–1
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells A A A A A A A A 2R QF 1R A 3R A A A 0 / 4 6–4
Miami A A A A A A 2R A 3R 4R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R A 0 / 8 5–8
Monte Carlo A A A A A A A 1R A 2R QF 1R A 1R A A 0 / 5 3–5
Hamburg A A A A A 2R 1R 1R SF A 1R A A 1R A A 0 / 6 4–6
Rome A A A A A 3R 1R A 1R QF 1R A A 1R A A 0 / 6 5–6
Canada A A A A A A A A A A 2R A A QF A A 0 / 2 4–2
Cincinnati A A A A A A A A A A 1R A A 1R A A 0 / 2 0–2
Madrid1 A A A A A A A 2R 2R 2R A A A 2R A A 0 / 4 2–4
Paris A A A A A A A A 3R 2R 1R 2R A 1R A A 0 / 5 2–5
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 3–2 1–3 1–3 6–6 8–6 4–8 1–3 2–2 4–8 1–1 0–0 0 / 42 31–42
Year End Ranking 862 352 210 159 54 79 63 24 8 17 73 101 83 40 91 310

1This event was held in Stockholm through 1994, Essen in 1995, and Stuttgart from 1996 through 2001.

Top 10 winsEdit

Season 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Total
Wins 0 0 0 1 0 2 6 5 5 5 1 1 1 0 1 28
# Player Rank Event Surface Rd Score Kučera
Rank
1994
1.   Sergi Bruguera 5 Moscow, Russia Carpet (i) 1R 3–6, 7–5, 6–4 62
1996
2.   Wayne Ferreira 9 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia Hard 2R 6–1, 6–3, 6–0 76
3.   Michael Chang 3 Long Island, United States Hard QF 6–4, 6–4 86
1997
4.   Marcelo Ríos 8 Stuttgart, Germany Clay 3R 6–4, 6–4 45
5.   Sergi Bruguera 9 Stuttgart, Germany Clay QF 6–3, 2–6, 7–5 45
6.   Goran Ivanišević 8 Basel, Switzerland Carpet (i) 1R 6–3, 6–3 32
7.   Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6 Vienna, Austria Carpet (i) 1R 6–4, 7–5 32
8.   Goran Ivanišević 4 Ostrava, Czech Republic Carpet (i) SF 6–3, ret. 32
9.   Thomas Muster 8 Stockholm, Sweden Hard (i) 2R 4–6, 6–3, 6–3 25
1998
10.   Pete Sampras 1 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia Hard QF 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 6–3 20
11.   Petr Korda 2 Antwerp, Belgium Hard QF 3–6, 6–4, 6–2 14
12.   Marcelo Ríos 2 Stuttgart, Germany Clay SF 6–1, 6–7(8–10), 6–4 16
13.   Richard Krajicek 6 New Haven, United States Hard SF 7–6(8–6), 6–4 13
14.   Andre Agassi 8 US Open, New York, United States Hard 4R 6–3, 6–3, 6–7(5–7), 1–6, 6–3 9
1999
15.   Tim Henman 8 Rome, Italy Clay 3R 4–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–3 12
16.   Pat Rafter 3 World Team Cup, Düsseldorf, Germany Clay RR 6–3, 7–6(7–5) 12
17.   Yevgeny Kafelnikov 4 Davis Cup, Moscow, Russia Clay RR 6–1, 6–3, 6–4 13
18.   Andre Agassi 1 Basel, Switzerland Carpet (i) QF 6–4, 7–5 20
19.   Tim Henman 6 Basel, Switzerland Carpet (i) F 6–4, 7–6(12–10), 4–6, 4–6, 7–6(7–2) 20
2000
20.   Gustavo Kuerten 4 Monte Carlo, Monaco Clay 1R 6–4, 0–6, 6–2 42
21.   Andre Agassi 1 French Open, Paris, France Clay 2R 2–6, 7–5, 6–1, 6–0 40
22.   Thomas Enqvist 7 Queen's Club, London, United Kingdom Grass 2R 3–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–3 36
23.   Yevgeny Kafelnikov 5 Long Island, United States Hard 2R 6–1, 6–3 45
24.   Tim Henman 10 Summer Olympics, Sydney, Australia Hard 1R 6–3, 6–2 43
2001
25.   Marat Safin 1 Davis Cup, Bratislava, Slovakia Hard (i) RR 3–6, 4–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–2 75
2002
26.   Andre Agassi 2 St. Petersburg, Russia Hard (i) 2R 6–4, 6–4 79
2003
27.   Juan Carlos Ferrero 2 Montreal, Canada Hard 3R 6–3, 7–5 41
2005
28.   Mariano Puerta 10 Davis Cup, Bratislava, Slovakia Hard (i) RR 4–6, 6–3, 2–1, ret. 145

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit