Karol Kučera (born March 4,
1974 in Bratislava) is a retired ATP professional male
tennis player from Slovakia.
is a former top 10 player and has been ranked as high as World No.
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
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.
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 Sergi
Bruguera 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
Haven defeating Goran Ivanišević.
He reached another two finals, losing to Gustavo Kuerten
in Stuttgart Outdoor and to
1 Pete Sampras in Vienna.
Overall in 1998, Kučera compiled a career high 53 match victories
and earning $1,402,557.
achieved his best Grand Slam result in 1998 reaching the
semi-finals of Australian Open where on his way he defeated defending champion
Pete Sampras in the quarter-finals, losing to eventual champion
Petr Korda in 4 sets.
Kučera won his fifth ATP title in Basel defeating
Tim Henman in the final.
1999, Kučera struggled with form due to a right wrist and arm
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.
the year he won his sixth and final tour title in Copenhagen defeating Olivier
Rochus in the final.
Kučera was one of the contributing members on the Slovakian team which reached the final of the
Davis Cup in 2005, eventually losing to
He announced his retirement after the
Style of play
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.
||Opponent in the Final
||June 12, 1995
||October 13, 1997
||January 12, 1998
||August 17, 1998
||6–4, 5–7, 6–2
||October 4, 1999
||6–4, 7–6(10), 4–6, 4–6, 7–6(2)
||February 24, 2003