Exclusive: Brazilian Tennis Look for Growth as they Learn from Past Mistakes

By iSportconnect | March 18, 2013

The Brazilian Tennis Association (BTA) has learned from past mistakes to engage the soccer driven country and grow participation levels.

Despite Brazil being better known for their footballing ability, ampoule the country has had a number one in teniis, in the form of Gustavo Kuerten, or Guga, who retired in 2008.

However, BTA President Jorce Lacerda da Rosa believes that more could have been done during Guga’s time at the top to engage the country in tennis; something he believes the association is doing now.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Lacerda said: “For a long time we considered tennis as an elite sport, while football was the sport of the masses. Today that has changed.

“We work to make tennis popular, bringing children and their parents to the sport, showing them how healthy and fun it is, they have some charismatic players to support, weekly tournaments, but of course the results influence the public.

“When Guga was number 1 in the world, we did not use that opportunity well, we should have used that moment to bring the sport closer to the public.

“Today we have all that work almost done, popular tennis and improved structures, but we do not have a large number of players amongst the best as we would like and once had.”

Lacerda was speaking to iSportconnect about Rio 2016, growing the sport and creating a generation of number ones. Read the full interview here >>