some cute questions and cute answers lol:
November 15, 2002
Gonzalez Answers Your Emails
Fernando Gonzalez, who is the second alternate at Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai, has slashed his year-end ranking from No. 135 in 2001 to No.18 in 2002. (He is 17th in the ATP Champions Race.) This year Gonzalez won two titles in Vina del Mar and Palermo, reached the Basel final, the semifinals in Cincinnati and the quarterfinals of the US Open. He also replaced Marcelo Rios as the No.1 ranked player in Chile.
Below, Gonzalez answers emails from ATPtennis.com fans.
Fernando, that's a long name to call out when cheering you on at a match. What do you like to be called?
Maybe in my country they call out Fene
Is it true you were in the movie Traffic? If so, do you have future acting plans in the works?
- Greg Scordato
No, that's not true (laughing).
What is planned on your vacation's agenda starting next week?
I didn't know that I was going to Shanghai, so after here I'm going to Hawaii for almost a week. I'll meet up with a friend there and after that I may go to Los Angeles. I have a few friends so I may stay there for a weekend. After that I'll go home before heading to Buenos Aires to practice.
What tournament is your most favorite?
- Masayo Walker
There are a lot of great events. I like Roland Garros and the Masters Series in Miami. I love to play in my country, but there is only one tournament there.
Considering your aggressive play and your qualities of hard hitting, don't you think that hard surfaces and carpet courts are better to your play than clay courts?
- Andrés Enríquez
Maybe on hard courts, where I've had much better results this year, including in Cincinnati and the US Open. But the two titles I won this year came on clay.
Why didn't you appear at the Masters welcome ceremony like the other players?
- Sebastien, Chile
I arrived on Monday night, too late for the ceremony. I would have loved to have been part of it. I played an exhibition with Marcelo (Rios) Wednesday last week and the day after they asked me if I wanted to come and then it was confirmed the day after that. It all happened very quickly and I didn't expect to come because I was far down on the list. I said I'd travel two days to get there even if I didn't play. I just wanted to part of the Masters.
I know it's difficult to choose the rising star who improved the most this year, but who do you think deserves that title? Would you agree that the right answer is among Nalbandian, Srichaphan and Gonzalez?
- Daniel Calcinaro from B.A., Argentina
I would add (Paul-Henri) Mathieu to that list a well. It would be a tough decision. We all had a great year. I never expected at the start of the season (when Gonzalez was ranked outside the top 100) that I would finish in the top 20. My goal was to finish in the top 50. In the middle of the year when I did get inside 50 I then set the goal of reaching the top 20.
Which Grand Slam do you have the best chance of winning?
The US Open. I like the courts, I like everything. I have a better feeling at Roland Garros because I grew up playing on hard courts. But it doesn't matter. I'd gladly take any Grand Slam if someone said I would win one.
What do you look for in a girlfriend?
- Sarah Linn
I like a girl to be herself, not to pretend to be someone she is not.
How long do you practice tennis on court everyday and also what kind of off court training do you do?
- David, TN
In the pre-season I practice four hours on court and another two hours off court. Between tournaments maybe two hours tennis and one hour fitness. I work out in the gym and run.
If you could play mixed doubles with anyone, who would you choose as your partner?
I don't know… Kournikova (laughing).
Who are your best friends on the tour?
Jose Acasuso and I practice a lot together. Massu, Lapentti, Zabaleta. Guys from Latin America.
What are your hobbies off the court?
Surfing the internet. I try to go out with my friends when I'm home.
Do you remember the first time you were asked for an autograph? What happened? How did you feel?
- Kayla, New Jersey, US
I was seven or eight years old. They took me to a company and there was a tennis tournament and I hit with the teacher, who is the father of one of my best friends now. I was very small but I was playing well. All the people who worked in the company asked me to sign. One year ago one of those people asked me for another autograph and he pulled out the same paper that I signed 14 years ago. My signature has changed a lot since then!
My question is regarding your backhand (one handed) down the line. Can you give me few tips please like what are the key points I have to focus on?
- Vladan Milosevic, Canada
It's a shot that needs to be practiced a lot. Hit it low over the net and believe in yourself that it's going to go in.
What is the most embarrassing moment in your tennis career?
Last year I was playing with Clavet in Vina del Mar and I fell over and slid under the net and finished on the other side of the court.