Fernando Gonzalez announces his retirement [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Fernando Gonzalez announces his retirement

Alfaxe
02-09-2012, 01:49 PM
After Miami :(

http://www.emol.com/noticias/deportes/2012/02/09/525498/fernando-gonzalez-anuncia-que-se-retirara-del-tenis-en-marzo-tras-el-masters-de-miami.html

Gabe32
02-09-2012, 01:50 PM
Two tweets about this, one from Sports Illustrated and one from "FueBena."

He will be missed. A great player.

Chirag
02-09-2012, 01:50 PM
really sad to see him leave .His power was legendary :sad:

superganon
02-09-2012, 01:53 PM
NOOOOOOOOO! :( :( :( :( this is so sad! loved his game and his character. such talent and such power in his game. i cant belive he is retiring :( /cry

Pirata.
02-09-2012, 01:53 PM
:sad:

Got to see him in New Haven in 2010, he was a great player with one of the biggest FH in the game. He will definitely be missed.

tripwires
02-09-2012, 01:56 PM
Omg NO. His forehand. :sad:

emotion
02-09-2012, 01:57 PM
:sad:
Why not try for an Olympic WC? Surely he would have got one

duong
02-09-2012, 02:08 PM
OMG

This time it's official, he announces it himself :sad:

really I hoped he wouldn't do that

I will miss him a lot, the enthusiasm, total freedom and absence of fear he had when he hit the ball, even in recent years on his backhand returns or flat passing-shots, was really great.

Of course AO 2007 was the summum of that pleasure.

Only Fed and Nalbandian I will miss more from the 2000s.

rocketassist
02-09-2012, 02:19 PM
One of the most talented players to play the game. His AO 07 run was one of the highest levels of play I've seen from anyone.

Chilenaitor
02-09-2012, 02:26 PM
no :( gonzalez 3 tournaments to retirement.. sao paulo MD Buenos aires MD and last Miami.. hope he received a WC!

GasquetFan
02-09-2012, 02:26 PM
Omg no :sad:

Mystique
02-09-2012, 02:37 PM
Gonzo :sad:

I cant say its a shock though, he has completely faded from the picture thanks to so many injuries, he is too good a player to hang around like a journeyman.
It was a pleasure watching you play Fernando. I will miss that guillotine forehand, and I am sure I wont be alone in this. And I will never forget your AO 07 run- the hottest I have personally seen a non-top player get over a GS fortnight. :worship:

paseo
02-09-2012, 02:40 PM
Sad news. Very entertaining player. BIG, BIG FH.

duong
02-09-2012, 02:42 PM
I know this has been a much debated topic and I'm a Fedfan, but I do believe personally that his forehand was better than Fed's, I don't think there has been a better forehand in the last 20 years, I will not compare with Lendl who was in a totally different context.

I could read some players who thought the same.

He did not always hit it, sometimes he could also spin it, and he had such confidence.

Yes he took more risks than Fed with that, but that's because his backhand was much less effective. And his consistency was good imo considering the risks he took.

Nole Rules
02-09-2012, 02:42 PM
Such a great player to watch. His matches can't be boring mainly because of that unreal Forehand of his.

Nole Rules
02-09-2012, 02:46 PM
I know this has been a much debated topic and I'm a Fedfan, but I do believe personally that his forehand was better than Fed's.

I could read some players who though the same.

He did not always hit it, sometimes he could also spin it, and he had such confidence.

Yes he took more risks than Fed with that, but that's because his backhand was much less effective. And his consistency was good imo considering the risks he took.

I agree with you. His Forehand at his peak is better than Fed's.

Guest12315544
02-09-2012, 02:47 PM
Very sad, but in light of his health problems not altogether unexpected :sad:

LawrenceOfTennis
02-09-2012, 02:48 PM
Poor guy.
Oh well, he still had much more luck in his career than Delpo.

Clay Death
02-09-2012, 02:48 PM
hate to hear that. i have always liked gonzo a great deal. he was a class act and a great player.

Nirjhor
02-09-2012, 02:51 PM
Gonzo :sad:

I'll definitely miss him.:sad:

UsD.AnDreS
02-09-2012, 03:02 PM
Recently watched his AO'07 SF against Haas with this ridiculous W/UE ratio and now this... Disappointment of solid proportions. Had the game and personality

Sparko1030
02-09-2012, 03:03 PM
Watched the video-obviously very difficult for him to do this. It has been so much fun following him over the years -he will be greatly missed. :sad: :hug:

STUHL
02-09-2012, 03:06 PM
NOOOO! :sad:

Fumus
02-09-2012, 03:09 PM
Best moment of Gonzo's career? Whipping his ass on the line during the RG semi versus Soderling.

He put the ass in pure Class!

fabolous
02-09-2012, 03:28 PM
i happened to watch this clip yesterday: vqIHxchIjA8&f

such an entertaining player in all aspects, he will be missed.

scarecrows
02-09-2012, 03:39 PM
best of luck in your post playing career

one of the most exciting players to watch when on form

Dupuis2006
02-09-2012, 03:40 PM
:eek:

AgnRus
02-09-2012, 03:40 PM
He will be missed. A great player.

:sad:

Clay Death
02-09-2012, 03:41 PM
good for the game, one of the worst mugs ever to have picked up a racket.

relax. nobody asked you in the first place.

you are starting to sound like a mug poster at this current rate.

how can anybody mug up a simple act of posting a simple post?

the answer: check with ossie. he will show you how.

djb84xi
02-09-2012, 03:45 PM
I'm gonna miss that rocket forehand of his. Sad to hear, with all the physical setbacks he's had over the last couple of years. I wish him nothing but the best of luck after retiring. He'll definitely be missed, that's for sure!!!

Beat
02-09-2012, 03:46 PM
always sad to see a talented player retire before his time. but:

hate to hear that. i have always liked gonzo a great deal. he was a class act and a great player.

:haha:

scarecrows
02-09-2012, 03:49 PM
you are starting to sound like a mug poster at this current rate.



starting?

ballbasher101
02-09-2012, 03:54 PM
Oh crap :sad:. Leave the forehand please ;). What a player :worship:. He shall be missed. Good luck to him and may he succeed in whatever he goes on to do.

Heinz_Ahlers
02-09-2012, 03:55 PM
so sad!!! :sad:
i'll really miss him.

Ace-Rod
02-09-2012, 03:57 PM
Sad news.:( I wish him the best in life. :)

Sunset of Age
02-09-2012, 04:00 PM
Expected bad news... :sad:

The (Fore)Hand of Stone. Perhaps one of the best ever. :worship:
His amazing run at the AO in 2007, devastating tennis - anyone who still believes the 'weak era'-crap, just watch Gonzo's matches from that AO.
And of course, never to be forgotten displays of 'sportmanship'. Never will I forget the sight of him wiping out the ball mark at RG with his ass. :spit:

Enjoy your retirement, Gonzo! :hug:

Lucilla
02-09-2012, 04:05 PM
Really sad news :(

I will miss him :sad:

Ausie
02-09-2012, 04:08 PM
sad day in the history of tennis, we will always remember you, bombardero.

SERBINATOR
02-09-2012, 04:17 PM
THAT Forehand....Holy Sh*t

sEL0olMmY4g

Deathless Mortal
02-09-2012, 04:20 PM
:sad:
One of the few players I always enjoyed watching. His racket smashes, big forehand and his AO final run won't be forgotten.
Have a nice life Fena! :yeah:

timafi
02-09-2012, 04:20 PM
anyone has the video announcing his retirement?

yesh222
02-09-2012, 04:20 PM
:( He will be missed.

scoobs
02-09-2012, 04:24 PM
This news sucks.

I will never forget him wiping a disputed ballmark away with his ass at Roland Garros.

SERBINATOR
02-09-2012, 04:24 PM
I think this was the best match he ever played

schooled NADAL here
jBOeQayp26A

abraxas21
02-09-2012, 04:25 PM
Recently watched his AO'07 SF against Haas with this ridiculous W/UE ratio and now this... Disappointment of solid proportions. Had the game and personality

he actually said that was the best match he's ever played

Nole Rules
02-09-2012, 04:27 PM
Man! Watching Gonzo is X100 better than watching the grind-fest between Nole & Rafa in that AO final. Tennis needs badly another Gonzo! :sad:

samanosuke
02-09-2012, 04:27 PM
so many memories with Gonzo but this always comes first on mind . What a legend :worship:


k-jThxwUnAs

tennisfan856
02-09-2012, 04:35 PM
would his forehand still shine on that slow garbage we have nowadays?

emotion
02-09-2012, 04:46 PM
The racket smashers are dying. Ryan Harrison, it is your duty to revive us
I'm a bit unsure who my fave player is now- Monty, Melzer, Tipsy, Berankis, Hewitt, or Rochus?

MaxPower
02-09-2012, 04:49 PM
so many memories with Gonzo but this always comes first on mind . What a legend :worship:


k-jThxwUnAs

lol remember watching that not long ago. Also funny how he gives a mock tribute to the line judge at 3:55. What a character. I hoped he would come back to at least the top50 and spice up the tour but it's hard at his age and after all the problems. But he won 10+ titles and had a good career. Nothing to be sad about really

Think he played tennis the way it's supposed to be played. Liked to suddenly pounce on a short ball to create a big winner. Huge forehand, lots of talent, bit mentally unstable/temperamental

rocketassist
02-09-2012, 04:49 PM
would his forehand still shine on that slow garbage we have nowadays?

No, but thankfully he played on much faster courts at his best and looked a lot better for doing so.

emotion
02-09-2012, 04:50 PM
he had some of the biggest chokes and some of the best displays of mental toughness...

Stronga23
02-09-2012, 04:51 PM
The racket smashers are dying. Ryan Harrison, it is your duty to revive us
I'm a bit unsure who my fave player is now- Monty, Melzer, Tipsy, Berankis, Hewitt, or Rochus?

:hug::hug: Fena just win a few more matches before you go :D.

I found this clip from a Monfils-Gonzo exo :worship:.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAYUgRdHN5A&feature=related

samanosuke
02-09-2012, 04:52 PM
would his forehand still shine on that slow garbage we have nowadays?

surely wouldn't . AO changed the surface after he trashed that spanish cheater in 2007 . still one of my favorite nadal matches

Jimnik
02-09-2012, 04:53 PM
This sucks but it's not surprising.

I'll always remember him for the two classic 5-set battles with JCF at RG and Wimbledon.

Highlight of his career was definitely the 2007 AO run.

Sonja1989
02-09-2012, 06:07 PM
It hurts really :sad: :sad: All the best Gonzo :hug:

arm
02-09-2012, 06:14 PM
Gongo :sobbing: :hug:

asmazif
02-09-2012, 06:17 PM
well end fena :sad:

Chris Kuerten
02-09-2012, 06:27 PM
I don't even know what to say, such a great player and personality.

Capuccino
02-09-2012, 06:28 PM
we'll never forget that forehand and racket breaking

fabolous
02-09-2012, 06:50 PM
he actually said that was the best match he's ever played
true that, i mean 42 winners and 3 unforced errors speak for themselves. unbelievable match.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/aus/2007-01-26-day-12_x.htm

Certinfy
02-09-2012, 06:54 PM
true that, i mean 42 winners and 3 unforced errors speak for themselves. unbelievable match.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/aus/2007-01-26-day-12_x.htm
I remember watching that but I really did have no idea those were the stats :help: :speakles: :tape: :eek:

nadejda
02-09-2012, 07:02 PM
Gonzo :crying2:

All the best :wavey:

Nole Rules
02-09-2012, 07:02 PM
true that, i mean 42 winners and 3 unforced errors speak for themselves. unbelievable match.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/aus/2007-01-26-day-12_x.htm

WOW! Is this for real? :eek:
What a legend!

Heinz_Ahlers
02-09-2012, 07:06 PM
anyone has the video announcing his retirement?

http://www.emol.com/videos/deportes/indexSub.asp?id_emol=10167

http://www.3tv.cl/index.php?m=video&v=22608

Allez
02-09-2012, 07:45 PM
He will be missed. What a monster forehand.

MariaV
02-09-2012, 07:47 PM
Not surprising but still sad. :sad: :sad:

Dupuis2006
02-09-2012, 08:03 PM
I wish he would play IW too!

misty1
02-09-2012, 08:04 PM
:sad:

StevoTG
02-09-2012, 08:19 PM
All the best to Feña. A great player and personality of his era, he'll be missed. I've certainly missed having him around while he was injured. Hopefully he moves on to something enjoyable next :)

mystic ice cube
02-09-2012, 08:26 PM
Best of luck to Gonzo with his retirement. A great personality and an exciting player - he'll be missed.

r3d_d3v1l_
02-09-2012, 08:34 PM
Fuck! Who the hell told me he wasn´t going to retire just some weeks before?

This shocked me. I really liked the guy and his game. A legend with a legendary game and a legendary personality. He will be truly missed.

I´m gutted.

v-money
02-09-2012, 08:35 PM
:sad:

leng jai
02-09-2012, 08:58 PM
Horrific looking backhand but without doubt one of the biggest if not biggest forehands of all time.

Sham Kay
02-09-2012, 09:23 PM
Drop it short to the forehand and get ready for a pasting. Will be missed, gonna try to catch as many of his final matches as possible.

Tommy_Vercetti
02-09-2012, 09:36 PM
:sad:
Why not try for an Olympic WC? Surely he would have got one

He's probably too afraid that his retirement tournament would be overshadowed by people talking about his last Olympics, ie, when he lied at the press conference and showed a complete lack of character.

theMEESH
02-09-2012, 10:10 PM
well end fena :sad:

T_T no more well start threads :bigcry:

nole_no1
02-09-2012, 10:12 PM
Oh no :sobbing: :sobbing: :sobbing: :sobbing:

One of the most exciting players to watch in the tour...

Best of luck in your future Gonzo :sad:

v-money
02-09-2012, 10:28 PM
Really going to root for him in Miami. Maybe if the improbable happens and he makes a run there, then he would stick around for a bit longer.

oc2004
02-09-2012, 10:43 PM
WOW! Is this for real? :eek:
What a legend!

http://youtu.be/DWGPARiGOYA

August
02-09-2012, 11:02 PM
Sad news. But why to retire after a Masters, not after a Slam?

BroTree123
02-09-2012, 11:06 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOO, It CAN'T be :sobbing: :sobbing:.........why so soon :sobbing: :sobbing:.

Fena, you will be missed.........you were awesome :sad:...

Naudio Spanlatine
02-09-2012, 11:07 PM
:sobbing: :crying2: :bigcry:

FlameOn
02-09-2012, 11:21 PM
Oh no :(. He will be missed.

Adri89
02-09-2012, 11:24 PM
Great game and character. I feel very sad to lost him. A generation is going to retire soon (Ferrero, Nalbandian, Hewitt and even Federer). We're going to lose a lot of very exciting and gifted players.

Coolio_Jack
02-09-2012, 11:27 PM
He surely will be missed, he's one of the most talented players in the last 20 years, but whats with all this talk about his great personality? Guy was one of the most disgusting cheats.

kinski76
02-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Hardly surprising, considering his injuries. I'm so sorry to see him go, though. He's one of the most entertaining players on the tour and a personal fave of mine for years :-(

Action Jackson
02-09-2012, 11:59 PM
One less volatile character on tour, the massive forehand will be missed. He had his controversial moments as well not just at the Olympics either. Too bad he couldn't retire on his merits.

Yes, stick to the topic as well.

jrm
02-10-2012, 12:01 AM
:bigcry::bigcry::bigcry::bigcry::bigcry:

Hewitt =Legend
02-10-2012, 12:09 AM
He will be missed, always a shame when a guy can't retire on his own terms. His highlights have already been mentioned here, no need to repeat them myself.

Wish him all the best in his post-tennis life.

Action Jackson
02-10-2012, 12:22 AM
I remember seeing him in Aus Open qualies in 2002, he lost in the 4th round to Koubek that year. He didn't lose a set before playing Koubek.

Qualies
128 Christian VINCK (GER) 6-3 6-2
64 Zeljko KRAJAN (CRO) 6-3 6-3
32 Dick NORMAN (BEL) 6-2 6-4

Main Draw
128 Sargis SARGSIAN (ARM) 6-1 6-3 7-6(5)
64 Tommy ROBREDO (ESP) 6-2 6-4 6-4
32 Alex KIM (USA) 6-2 6-2 6-3

Yolita
02-10-2012, 12:33 AM
His forehand will be missed. :bigcry:

His brand of power-tennis. :tears:

Good luck, Feña. :wavey:

Mountaindewslave
02-10-2012, 12:48 AM
saw him live a few times a back in Washington a few years back and he was awesome, very fun and involved with crowd even in his eventual loss to Del Potro....

he has had one of the most exciting games on tour and it won't be the same without his face and forehand around

stewietennis
02-10-2012, 01:00 AM
His road to the 2007 Australian Open Final was a gauntlet. Anyone find it strange that he only reached one Major Final in his career?

tennisfan856
02-10-2012, 01:33 AM
Really going to root for him in Miami. Maybe if the improbable happens and he makes a run there, then he would stick around for a bit longer.

I was thinking that as well, but I don't think he can shake off the pain that is bothering him.

VolandriFan
02-10-2012, 01:44 AM
Such a shame to see him go. :sad: Huge loss for the tour.

A slam finalist, 11 time titleist, winner of Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. He provided us with so many entertaining moments on court with both his flashy shotmaking and competitive spirit.

Evitman
02-10-2012, 02:36 AM
I miss his games too much. Great legend!

His road to the 2007 Australian Open Final was a gauntlet. Anyone find it strange that he only reached one Major Final in his career?

His best chance to reach another final was in RG 09, where he had 4-1 in the final set against super Soderking.

castle007
02-10-2012, 02:58 AM
Oh man, this is sad news. I will surely miss him. He is a great player with an amazing forehand. I will never forget his AO 2007 run. :sad:

Best of luck to him

Ouragan
02-10-2012, 03:10 AM
RIP, Gonzo

stewietennis
02-10-2012, 03:49 AM
RIP, Gonzo

Err… he's not dead

HuaTuo
02-10-2012, 03:58 AM
best wishes to gonzo
always remember 2004 Athens Olympics

pray-for-palestine-and-israel
02-10-2012, 04:03 AM
amongst the legendary heroes of the 2000s

federer
nalby
safin
gonzo
davy

http://visitorqueue.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/hat_tip.gif

Kat_YYZ
02-10-2012, 04:20 AM
aww, that last injury did him in. :sadface: I will miss watching his matches. Good luck, Fena. :hug:

Jimnik
02-10-2012, 04:44 AM
I also remember the one time he beat Federer. It was at the TMC (WTF) in Shanghai. Great match.

siffleanimaux
02-10-2012, 04:47 AM
sad news, but it happens. :sad:

Jimnik
02-10-2012, 04:51 AM
Start watching @ 3:03 for his 2007 AO shots. Definitely the best tennis of his career.

vqIHxchIjA8&

Shots from his only Federer win are towards the end.

FairWeatherFan
02-10-2012, 08:21 AM
Loved his demolition of Nadal in AO 2007.

leng jai
02-10-2012, 08:30 AM
If it was possible to fluking form for an entire slam then AO 2007 would be it. He was pretty much swinging as hard as he could on every second forehand and they all went in. Too bad Federer stopped him in the final, would have been legendary.

nalbyfan
02-10-2012, 12:22 PM
Impossible to come back after a hip surgery ? Poor Fena, he's not like Nalby and Hewitt who still can play, even if their level is lower than before. I'll miss him

stripes
02-10-2012, 01:58 PM
fernando :sad: this is such a shame I really enjoyed his tennis.

American278
02-10-2012, 02:36 PM
fernando :sad: this is such a shame I really enjoyed his tennis.

also his character will be missed:(

alfonsojose
02-10-2012, 02:38 PM
The male Mary Pierce :drool: When on , it was scary.

Knotty Fort
02-12-2012, 09:06 PM
This article sums it up just about right: http://tennis.si.com/2012/02/09/fernando-gonzalez-retires/?sct=tn_bf1_a3

Thanks for the memories :worship:

Fernando Gonzalez announced Thursday that next month’s Sony Ericsson Open in Miami will be his last professional tournament. Yes, “Gonzo,” the Chilean with the most destructive forehand in tennis, is retiring at the ripe old age of 31.

“I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to end my career at Miami,” he said in a press conference on Thursday. “It’s 100 percent personal. I realized I don’t have the energy to be where I want to be.

“I want to have a new start,” he said. “I’ll still be working for tennis, it’s my passion. I’ll take some time to think what I will do.”

Gonzalez, one of Chile’s most decorated athletes, was a 2007 Australian Open finalist (he beat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals but ultimately lost to Roger Federer), a semifinalist at the 2009 French Open, and holder of three Olympic medals. He’s won 11 ATP Tour titles and is currently 368-189.

You could always count on the hot-tempered giant killer for a big upset and an even bigger racket smash.

Gonzo is as Gonzo does. Here’s a collection of some of our favorite Gonzo moments.

The Forehand: There has never been a bigger or more dangerous forehand than Gonzo’s. He could hit it for pace, obviously, but he was also crazy enough to try to hit it from any position on the court, whether as a swinging volley, a half volley from the baseline, or a straight-forward “grip it and rip it” shot. All you need to do is watch these videos and hear the commentators express their awe in laughter.

0E40rfx3rYc

*****


The Smash: Along with Marat Safin, Gonzalez was the king of the racket smash. He did it with violent force, yet somehow managed to find creative and entertaining ways to express his disappointment in his tools.

vBpk-fmQxTc

1Wehs2T5FFM

*****

The Temper: Gonzalez is a fiery guy. He never hesitated to show his displeasure when he felt like he was being wronged. The two most memorable instances of this? His decision to fire a shot right at Radek Stepanek when the Czech gamely tried to slow down Gonzalez’s pace of play, and of course, the controversial line call at Roland Garros in 2009. The common theme in these clips? Gluteus maximus.

qFLJzyX58tM

k-jThxwUnAs

*****

The Talent: Gonzalez was always one of my favorite players to watch because you genuinely had no idea what to expect. His game could go off the rails — and with it his emotions. But he could also look like a world beater when on his game. I’m a sucker for a big forehand, and Gonzalez’s attempts to work a point to set up that forehand was always fun to watch. When he connected with the ball cleanly, the crowd reacted as if a lightning bolt had struck the stadium.

Some highlights from his memorable 2007 run in Melbourne:

HBI-y0bat-E

yE_HeeDAbzw

*****

Thanks for the memories, Gonzo. Here’s hoping you get the send-off you deserve in Miami.

Felipe Abe
02-12-2012, 09:39 PM
Well, Gonzo was a nice player. Sad his retirement.
Anyway, it was time...

tangerine_dream
02-12-2012, 10:04 PM
Good-bye, Gonzo. :bigwave: Amongst your finest moments: how you cheated James Blake at the 2008 Olympics (http://www.olympic.org/multimedia-player/all-video/2000-2009/2008/08/15/lot1-2008-tennis-m-s-semifinal-usachi/).

Experimentee
02-12-2012, 10:54 PM
A sad loss for the game of tennis. I will always remember the brilliance he displayed at the AO 07, that was just GOAT tennis.

Sunset of Age
02-12-2012, 11:41 PM
Good-bye, Gonzo. :bigwave: Amongst your finest moments: how you cheated James Blake at the 2008 Olympics (http://www.olympic.org/multimedia-player/all-video/2000-2009/2008/08/15/lot1-2008-tennis-m-s-semifinal-usachi/).
What ever happened to you that you seem only capable of making such bitter posts the past couple of months? :confused:

Ok. I guess it's the Duck Factor. :angel: Never mind. :hug:

Haelfix
02-13-2012, 04:39 AM
Very underrated player. Possibly the greatest forehand in the history of mens tennis. Just a monster of a shot.

He lacked the elite anticipation skills of the top, and his backhand always let him down, but that forehand was just so epic you couldn't keep your eyes off it. He was also capable of shotmaking from a variety of different positions on the court, which made for some pretty points.

Mimi
02-13-2012, 08:07 AM
sorry for his fans, especially my dear Thanos :hug:

ossie
02-13-2012, 08:51 AM
Very underrated player. Possibly the greatest forehand in the history of mens tennis. Just a monster of a shot.

He lacked the elite anticipation skills of the top, and his backhand always let him down, but that forehand was just so epic you couldn't keep your eyes off it. He was also capable of shotmaking from a variety of different positions on the court, which made for some pretty points.:spit: holy shit this board is going downhill fast

Sophocles
02-13-2012, 11:16 AM
One of the most spectacular players of recent years & one of the few, even in these days of homogenized surfaces, to have made at least the quarters in every slam. As for his A.O. 2007, has anybody ever played better at a slam without taking the title?

leng jai
02-13-2012, 11:37 AM
:spit: holy shit this board is going downhill fast

Del Pony has a better forehand amirite?

Ajde

rocketassist
02-13-2012, 12:27 PM
:spit: holy shit this board is going downhill fast

Leave it then

rocketassist
02-13-2012, 12:28 PM
One of the most spectacular players of recent years & one of the few, even in these days of homogenized surfaces, to have made at least the quarters in every slam. As for his A.O. 2007, has anybody ever played better at a slam without taking the title?

I wouldn't say he did it on homogenized courts. Clay was slower and grass and AO faster than today by far.

Vida
02-13-2012, 01:33 PM
I wouldn't say he did it on homogenized courts. Clay was slower and grass and AO faster than today by far.

what tignor recently wrote about surface speed

It’s also not like the surfaces are getting slower everyday, as some people seem to think. Wimbledon’s grass has been the same since 2001; players have been talking about Key Biscayne playing like clay since at least 2005; the Aussie Open’s previous surface, Rebound Ace, was a similar pace to the Plexicushion they use now, and it was installed in 1988. Many fans hold out Federer as an example of an attacking player who can’t win on today’s courts, but he’s been winning on them his whole career, including five trips to the French Open final.

http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/02/reading-the-readers-ozzie-edition.html

somebody is talking out of his ass - you or tignor.

Vida
02-13-2012, 01:35 PM
anyway, pity about gonzo. was never a fan, but he was alright. may he have a prosperous life.

rocketassist
02-13-2012, 02:08 PM
what tignor recently wrote about surface speed



http://blogs.tennis.com/thewrap/2012/02/reading-the-readers-ozzie-edition.html

somebody is talking out of his ass - you or tignor.

Tennis journalism is fucking shite, you and me both know this.

soJ_FVnijAw

abraxas21
02-13-2012, 02:20 PM
he said he wants to play his last match v. federer

ossie
02-13-2012, 02:27 PM
Del Pony has a better forehand amirite?

Ajdeyep, thats why delpo has a slam and mugzalez is wiping his ass with clay

Vida
02-13-2012, 02:57 PM
Tennis journalism is fucking shite, you and me both know this.

soJ_FVnijAw

sure there are journos who are garbage, I know few though I wouldnt exactly put tignor in that group.

and to be honest that video is not enough to claim what you apparently have spent half of your life claiming. based on two shots, under what conditions were they taken, were they exactly the same? hardly. point is for a definite conclusion there needs to be a precise, comprehensive research. I havent seen such as yet, what I see are conflicting reports, from many sources, ranging from mild to extreme, to claiming that the surface hasnt changed a bit, but that other factors have contributed to different ball trajectory - like higher average spin applied etc.

in the end, what I see with my own eyes is that grass is still fucking grass, and that in huge part the surface speed complaint is a load of tosh, most often resembling good old sour grapes.

SapELee
02-13-2012, 08:04 PM
This sucks.

rocketassist
02-13-2012, 08:06 PM
sure there are journos who are garbage, I know few though I wouldnt exactly put tignor in that group.

and to be honest that video is not enough to claim what you apparently have spent half of your life claiming. based on two shots, under what conditions were they taken, were they exactly the same? hardly. point is for a definite conclusion there needs to be a precise, comprehensive research. I havent seen such as yet, what I see are conflicting reports, from many sources, ranging from mild to extreme, to claiming that the surface hasnt changed a bit, but that other factors have contributed to different ball trajectory - like higher average spin applied etc.

in the end, what I see with my own eyes is that grass is still fucking grass, and that in huge part the surface speed complaint is a load of tosh, most often resembling good old sour grapes.

Grass may still be grass, but it doesn't mean it's the same speed does it? The only reason you're saying it's tosh is to make Djokovic's Wimbledon win look better. When Gonzo reached Wimbledon QFs in 05, the surface was clearly way faster hence the usuals of Ancic, LaLo, Roddick, Grosjean, Thomas Johansson and Hewitt who always did well on grass besides Federer the regular.

Shirogane
02-13-2012, 10:41 PM
When he first played at Wimbledon, Djoko-GOAT said, it was “the fastest surface in the world.” Now, he said, “in my opinion, it got slower.”


Ajde!

Action Jackson
02-14-2012, 02:51 AM
Tignor is a joke.

But would be good if Gonzalez was able to Fed in a match before he retires.

Jimnik
02-14-2012, 04:27 AM
vqIHxchIjA8&

Shots from his only Federer win are towards the end.
Great video. This Jimnik is good. :p

name_change
02-14-2012, 08:04 AM
I'm so glad I got to see him live! I'll miss him.

bonkers186
02-14-2012, 12:08 PM
Will forever love you Gonzo. Good luck in your life post tennis...

Hian-GOAT
02-14-2012, 12:47 PM
I never liked him, but it's always sad when a veteran retires.

Good luck in your post-tennis life, Fernando :yeah:

Eden
03-21-2012, 03:47 PM
Time right for Gonzo to say goodbye

March 21, 2012,

Ravi Ubha ESPN.com

Another of tennis' entertainers is saying goodbye.

Three years after Marat Safin bid adieu and two years removed from Fabrice Santoro's farewell, this week's Sony Ericsson Open in Miami marks the end of Fernando Gonzalez's career.

Gonzalez's supreme shot-making, most notably with his laser-like forehand, coupled with his penchant for breaking rackets -- a la Safin -- made him utterly watchable.

His success at the Olympics and 2007 Australian Open turned him into even more of a hero back home in Chile, the land of Marcelo Rios. He'll be missed.

But the 31-year-old couldn't continue. He always was the kind that planned ahead and thought about his life after tennis, even when he was in his early 20s and healthy. Hip surgery and aching knees, brought on by years of pounding, sped up the thinking process.

Gonzalez sought the counsel of his family and only his closest friends, which included former coach Larry Stefanki, as he contemplated retirement. Too many opinions, he said, would leave him confused.

Stefanki flew from California to Florida last fall to chat with Gonzalez about his future, and accompanied by a bottle of wine, they conversed well into the early hours of the morning.

"Maybe two or three years ago, I started to think one day I have to say bye," Gonzalez said in a phone interview from Miami last week. "It wasn't in my plans at the time, but I was always looking at when it was going to be the right time. You start to feel pain in your body, you don't have the same energy to practice, to travel, to compete, then you know maybe it's going to be my time now."

He went public with his intention to quit last month. "I think I did the right thing, because I wanted to stop with the good feeling of my tennis," Gonzalez said. "I think it's the right time to stop."

When Gonzalez made up his mind, he informed Stefanki.

"He said, 'I'm done,'" Stefanki said in a phone interview. "I said, 'I'm going to be there until the end. I'm going to be there at all your matches in Miami. I'm proud of everything you accomplished.'"

That Gonzalez and Stefanki grew close wasn't entirely a surprise; it was under Stefanki's tutelage that Gonzalez had most of his success. Gonzalez was able to shore up weaknesses in his game, develop a drive backhand, construct points better and not solely rely on the massive forehand. Never a keen jogger, Stefanki got Gonzalez moving.

They clicked as people, too, so much so that Gonzalez almost bought a place in San Diego, where Stefanki lives.

Gonzalez's willingness to improve when he could have coasted with the forehand, stayed in the top 30 and made a nice living, lured Stefanki when they discussed a possible partnership in 2006. At the time Stefanki was happy enough being at home with his family and working with juniors.

"He goes, 'Larry, I've got 2,500 hours of doing things the wrong way, but I'm willing to do it the way you tell me,' and that really got my attention," Stefanki said. "And I liked his energy. When I asked him a question, he was very thoughtful, very truthful. Fernando was one of the special ones, and I'm glad I said yes to him."


Their crowning accomplishment came in Melbourne in 2007, when Gonzalez downed a young Juan Martin del Potro, Aussie favorite Lleyton Hewitt and world No. 5 James Blake just to advance to the quarterfinals.

Once there, Gonzalez crushed Rafael Nadal, who hadn't yet won a major outside Roland Garros, before routing Tommy Haas in a 90-minute semifinal. He was in the groove.

"He was one of the few guys who could create offensive positioning on the court from a ball tailing away from him," Stefanki said. "His upper body strength, he was strong as an ox."

Roger Federer, though, was a different proposition in the final. The Swiss was at the height of his powers, winning five of the previous six majors and was 10-0 against Gonzalez.

Gonzalez held two set points at 5-4, 40-15 on his own serve, and had he converted on one of them, the momentum player he was, who knows what might have happened. Instead he was broken, lost the first set, and Federer cruised.

Gonzalez admits to, for a while, replaying the set points in his head over and over.

"Roger was playing really good, and it was my only final of a major, and he had many," Gonzalez said. "But I don't like to think of something that could have been, because it wasn't. I always try to think of what it was."

Gonzalez finally topped Federer in a classic three-set match at the year-end championships in Shanghai in 2007, striking his backhand better than ever.

But, oh, that forehand.


ESPN analyst Darren Cahill, who coached Hewitt and Andre Agassi, marveled at the shot when he first saw a 16-year-old Gonzalez during a junior Davis Cup event in Switzerland that also featured Hewitt and Federer. He was in charge of the Australian team.

"I remember hearing about this Chilean kid who was pretty good and never before seeing a young kid able to generate so much power on the forehand side as Fernando," Cahill said in a phone interview. "I knew he was going to be a very good player. Obviously, he was pretty wild back then. He played Lleyton, they had a great match, and Lleyton hit a few too many balls back at him, but Fernando was leaving dents on the back fence with the power he was generating on the forehand."

Cahill hasn't seen a junior hit the forehand as hard since.


"Even if I didn't play for a month, I could hit the forehand like I wished," Gonzalez said. "It's something that didn't happen with the rest of my game."

When asked who had the bigger forehand, him or del Potro, Gonzalez laughed.

"I think me, but Juan Martin has more things better than me," he said.

As for those rackets that died a quick, forceful death -- watch his demolition job at Indian Wells in 2009 against Federer -- Gonzalez wasn't proud of his behavior. At those moments, it was akin, he said, to having an out-of-body experience.

Outside the court Stefanki described Gonzalez, who once aided a dog hit by a car in Chile, as a "gentle soul who didn't have a mean bone in his body." Gonzalez visited different parts of Chile in the wake of the country's 8.8 magnitude earthquake in February 2010 and organized a charity doubles match in Miami that raised more than $100,000.

Cahill, who added that Gonzalez's smile and personality lit up a room, also said: "He's one of the nicest guys around."

Gonzalez, ranked as high as No. 5, said he "could have done more" in his career, yet he's hardly tormented. "Calm" is the word he used. Besides those two memorable weeks in Melbourne, he has fond memories of winning a gold in doubles with Nicolas Massu and bronze in singles at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and a silver in singles in Beijing -- where he carried the flag at the opening ceremonies -- four years later.

Saving match points at the Olympics was commonplace. He fended off two against Taylor Dent in the bronze medal match in Athens that ended 16-14 in the third, and he and Massu survived four in the doubles final against Germany -- later the same day. Gonzalez fought off three match points in the 2008 semifinals against Dent's fellow American, James Blake, prevailing in another long one, 11-9 in the third.

What's next for Gonzalez?

He plans to do more charity work and play as many exhibitions as possible, both inside and outside of Chile.

"I'll start to work with my foundation to try to motivate people to play tennis in my country, especially where they don't have access," Gonzalez said. "I want to play many matches in Chile as exhibitions. We're a really long country; one side to another is far away. I want to be in many places.

"I still like tennis. The senior tour is more [entertainment], and I think it's going to be a great time for me."

Watching Gonzalez, more often than not, made for a great time.


*****


Same country, different people

Larry Stefanki took the gifted, brooding Marcelo Rios to No. 1 in the world, but he said his time with Fernando Gonzalez, Rios' fellow Chilean, was more gratifying.

"Fernando and Marcelo were totally different, the way they challenged themselves, the way they looked at life," Stefanki said. "I had probably the most success with Rios. I'm very proud of how much improvement he made because the naysayers said he was too small, too slow, too this, too that, and he got to No. 1.

"But as a friend, person, athlete, and what he accomplished, I'm as proud of Fernando as I am of anybody."

Stefanki has also coached Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Tim Henman, an aging John McEnroe and, currently, Andy Roddick.

"None of the guys I've ever really coached had that sensitivity and that unselfishness like Fernando, always concerned about how my family was doing," Stefanki said. "That's what I think of [when thinking of Gonzalez], not one specific memory."

Source: http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/7716231/tennis-time-right-fernando-gonzalez-say-goodbye

LisaKoh
03-21-2012, 04:29 PM
:sad: :sad: :sad:

He always seemed like the nicest guy even though he was a fiery competitor on the court. Will be missed.

Orka_n
03-21-2012, 04:43 PM
A great talent but far from the nicest guy on court.

Anyway, sad to see him retire. When in form he was a monster.

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 03:38 AM
Good words from Stefanki, yes Gonzo was a bit naughty on court at times this can't be denied. He was entertaining on the court and when he was on, a pleasure to watch.

Naudio Spanlatine
03-22-2012, 03:54 AM
Heres another video of Gonzo:)
0khJUxEVaDw

david_is_not_fat
03-22-2012, 04:00 AM
Well... we have youtube now :)
Great video :)

BroTree123
03-22-2012, 04:00 AM
Difficult not to let loose a few tears atm.

paukay
03-22-2012, 04:01 AM
You will be missed. Have a good post tennis life. Good luck! :wavey:

Naudio Spanlatine
03-22-2012, 04:12 AM
Fena and Massu:inlove:
https://p.twimg.com/AojxenQCAAAR7iV.jpg

HKz
03-22-2012, 04:19 AM
"gentle soul who didn't have a mean bone in his body."

Great article Eden, however, I had to laugh at this line.

b5PbMCRN5xo

david_is_not_fat
03-22-2012, 06:34 AM
Look :) http://www.adiosfernando.cl/

Jverweij
03-22-2012, 07:30 AM
Great article Eden, however, I had to laugh at this line.

b5PbMCRN5xo

Stepanek can be a total ass however. I remember this match, and he had this coming bigtime!

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 08:13 AM
Best of all Gonzalez and Steps were playing doubles that week.

shadows
03-22-2012, 08:27 AM
Take care Gonzo, you'll be missed. Thanks for many wonderful matches.

Nole Rules
03-22-2012, 08:29 AM
Best of all Gonzalez and Steps were playing doubles that week.

:spit:

Jverweij
03-22-2012, 09:07 AM
Best of all Gonzalez and Steps were playing doubles that week.

:haha: did not know that...that must've been fun

integral
03-22-2012, 09:33 AM
Anyone knows where to find photos of his last match against Mahut?
I have to buy a shirt, he was wearing :D

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 09:38 AM
I remember when Gonzo lost to Verkerk at the old Dutch Open he said this about him. "I also want to congratulate Fernando on his week here. I’m really jealous of his forehand, I’m going to watch his next matches and try and copy it."

Fuser59
03-22-2012, 09:50 AM
This really depresses me Fernando is my generation and I feel old...I will misss this classy Latino macho on the tour...he was unique

Fujee
03-22-2012, 09:50 AM
Very entertaining player, will be missed. Good Luck Fernando.

Li Ching Yuen
03-22-2012, 09:53 AM
That's hilarious considering Verkerk's gamestyle.

scoobs
03-22-2012, 09:55 AM
I will miss him.

Rita
03-22-2012, 09:55 AM
This really depresses me Fernando is my generation and I feel old...I will misss this classy Latino macho on the tour...he was unique

This is exactly how i feel

Eden
03-22-2012, 10:00 AM
Anyone knows where to find photos of his last match against Mahut?
I have to buy a shirt, he was wearing :D


Have a look here:

http://www.daylife.com/topic/Fernando_Gonzalez/photos?__site=daylife



Fernando's speech during the trophy ceremony of AO 2007

FgF9vrp0JnM

Unfortunately I couldn't find the moment before when Roger came over to him for a chat.


It's always sad when a player retires and even more when it is one of your favorites.

Good luck for your new life Fena and thanks for the great tennis which you have given to us :)

willoughby
03-22-2012, 10:03 AM
Best of all Gonzalez and Steps were playing doubles that week.

They didn't. Gonzalez played with Monaco that year in Miami.. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Fernando-Gonzalez.aspx?t=pa&y=0&m=d&e=403

Jverweij
03-22-2012, 10:07 AM
That's hilarious considering Verkerk's gamestyle.

why? Verkerk had a killer BH when he was on, but his FH was so-so at best..

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 10:10 AM
They didn't. Gonzalez played with Monaco that year in Miami.. http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Top-Players/Fernando-Gonzalez.aspx?t=pa&y=0&m=d&e=403

They were supposed to play together in that event, but Stepanek withdrew not sure if this was before Gonzo tried to tattoo him or after.

Sombrerero loco
03-22-2012, 10:13 AM
feña =(

Li Ching Yuen
03-22-2012, 10:20 AM
why? Verkerk had a killer BH when he was on, but his FH was so-so at best..

That's exactly the point, his FH was nowhere near Gonzo's, even if he made a conscious effort of changing it.

Kind of reminds of when Harrison whispered that he had "the best forehand in the game". Whole different worlds, no room for comparisons whatsoever.

leng jai
03-22-2012, 11:07 AM
Gineprick has the best forehand in the game.

Ajde

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 11:31 AM
sIQFRfSv0Ig

FedererBulgaria
03-22-2012, 12:42 PM
He was great for the sport,all the best in life

tennishero
03-22-2012, 12:54 PM
what a shame, great player and personality... will miss those crazy forehands and racquet smashes.

samanosuke
03-22-2012, 12:58 PM
sIQFRfSv0Ig

1:16 :worship::worship:

Action Jackson
03-22-2012, 01:06 PM
Of course there is this.

1CyUDLnBix4

Crazy Girl
03-22-2012, 02:06 PM
:hatoff::hatoff::hatoff:

all for you..GONZO!!

swebright
03-22-2012, 02:31 PM
I just love the way he beat up Rafa at that AO 2007 match. Demolishing derby. His forehand was so ON and he was hitting so hard.

Mary Carrilo always had a thing to say about his crazy wild shots, but one year, he was able to put everything in order.

Well done, Gonzo !! :worship::wavey::angel:

timafi
03-22-2012, 02:32 PM
Fer :hatoff:

Minorellen
03-22-2012, 02:33 PM
Will forever love you Gonzo. Good luck in your life post tennis...

Same here.

I am sooooo sad

Johnny Iznrr
03-22-2012, 03:23 PM
Of course there is this.

1CyUDLnBix4

Yes! I was hoping someone would find Fena wiping the mark with his ass, that's my fav moment :hearts:

MissMoJo
03-22-2012, 04:03 PM
He was always so exciting to watch, especially during that 2007 AO run. It's a shame that his body forced him to retire, but at least he'll remain involved with tennis and helping to develop the talent in Chile. All the best to him.

Naudio Spanlatine
03-22-2012, 05:37 PM
Heres another video
kpHY9U_xpXw

tennishero
03-22-2012, 06:02 PM
0khJUxEVaDw

LleytonMonfils
03-22-2012, 06:27 PM
Was never one of my favs but I always liked watching the guy play, whether he was there mentally that day or not you knew you were going to get some great shots, and more often than not he would put on a good show. That run he had in the AO was one of the sickest I have ever seen. The guy redlined for basically the entire tournament.

SapELee
03-22-2012, 08:54 PM
Good luck with life after tennis :).

Eden
03-23-2012, 11:48 PM
Some words from Roger:


Last night we saw you giving some awards to Fernando González. In my country, the people want to know what's your opinion about his decision and if you have any chance to go there to play maybe an exhibition with him in his retirement tour?

ROGER FEDERER: Is he going to have a retirement tour?

Couple matches.

ROGER FEDERER: I hope he has. He deserves it. Fernando is a great champion. You know, I know him from the junior days. He's always been a great person. He never changed.
I think that's also why he gets so much respect right now from all his fellow players, is because he's really well liked; probably one of the most incredible forehands we've ever seen. I was lucky enough to play against that forehand at times.
I just think he was great for the game. You know, he carried over what Marcello Rios did in a great way, I guess, back in the day, you know, becoming world No. 1, first one from Chile, and then Fernando to, you know, have the burden of living up to that expectation with Nicolas Massu. I think they did really well.
He's a great person and great player. Sad to see him go. Only he knows that it's the right decision to do. I think he's had too much trouble, too much injury, and maybe now he's too comfortable living back home. The roads to the rest of the world are far from Chile, so I can understand also maybe the travel had an impact.
I hope one day, sure, that we can play an exhibition together maybe in Chile. I'd like that, too, of course. Who knows? Maybe at the end of the year. I don't know.

What do you remember about the Australia final against González? The only match he won against you was Shanghai in Masters.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the Shanghai match I remember was very close. I felt like I had so many chances and ended up losing. He played great at the end.
I think he beat me 7 5 in the third; I think I went on to win the title, actually. It was one of the losses I could sort of still take the positives out of it and actually go on and win the tournament. Normally you lose and you're out. So that was a particular.
But obviously the Australian Open one was tough. He was playing great. It was a tough four setter. Was it straight? I think that was the time maybe I was playing some of my absolute very best tennis, but he had an amazing run.
I think he beat Nadal I think in the semis, right? Yeah, he was tough. That was, for me, nice to play against a fellow friend in the finals of the Australian Open.

Source: http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/News/Tennis/2012/Interview-Transcripts/Roger-Federer-22-March.aspx

Naudio Spanlatine
03-24-2012, 12:08 AM
0khJUxEVaDw

I post this vid, check out Post #145

but its ok:hug:

LisaKoh
03-24-2012, 12:41 AM
Can somebody post that video from the Madrid final where he sprays Roger Federer in the face with Champagne? It was hilarious and Federer was stumbling around saying, "I'm blind!" for a second or two after.

Horatio Caine
03-24-2012, 08:50 AM
Bye Fena. :sad:

He was often fun to watch, with that huge forehand giving opponents fits. Who can forget that beatdown of Nadal at the Australian Open a few years ago? :drool: The backhand was laughable at times; also the infamous grunt, even when playing the most relaxed of backhand slices. :lol:

Had the pleasure of seeing him live only a couple of times (over the last 3 years), and he was worth seeing.

Good luck in retirement.

Allez
03-24-2012, 10:30 AM
Start watching @ 3:03 for his 2007 AO shots. Definitely the best tennis of his career.

vqIHxchIjA8&

Shots from his only Federer win are towards the end.

This guy was on fire in 2007. People who think Fed was winning all those slams because there were no other great players need to re watch that 2007 Australian Open :eek:

LisaKoh
03-24-2012, 11:01 AM
Took down the images, didn't realize they violated copyright! But if anybody's interested, please look up pics of Madrid 06 ceremony for some champagne hilarity.

Federer, on being sprayed in the eye by Fena: It's dangerous for my eye, I thought I lost it. I was looking for it on the ground. It was just rolling away. He got me good, Fernando.

r3d_d3v1l_
03-24-2012, 11:26 AM
Why the hell didn´t he even entered the AO?

Didn´t even saw a single match of him after the injury. I´m gutted :(

Adri89
03-24-2012, 11:56 AM
Thanks you again Fena, wish you all the best

chewy
03-24-2012, 03:42 PM
Gonzo!!! :sad:
I was still waiting to see more of your matches after you recover from injury...
He's definitely one of the few players that I've enjoyed watching over the years and instilled my love for tennis.
A humble and brilliant athlete.

Thanks to others who posted clips/interviews on this thread, makes it harder to know he's retired though.

Eden
03-26-2012, 02:38 PM
Can somebody post that video from the Madrid final where he sprays Roger Federer in the face with Champagne? It was hilarious and Federer was stumbling around saying, "I'm blind!" for a second or two after.

I can't find anything from the trophy ceremony on the internet. Also the match report on www.tennistv.com doesn't include the trophy ceremony.

Eden
03-30-2012, 05:57 PM
Farewell Fernando

by Robert Davis

28.03.2012

Revered for his fighting spirit and feared for his lethal weapon of a forehand, Fernando Gonzalez will be most remembered as a man who never forgot where he came from.

At the Sony Ericsson Open, Fernando Gonzalez is warming up for what would turn out to be his final match on the ATP World Tour. He is hitting on Court 8 with his childhood friend, Luis Manrique. Not only is he ending his career in the same place as he began it, but he is doing it in the same way, by playing tennis with his best friends. Both Gonzalez and Manrique trained together as little boys at Patricio Apey’s academy in Key Biscayne. Research Fernando Gonzalez, and the one thing that you will quickly discover is that he never forgot where he came from. Or those people who helped him along the way.

"As great a player as he was," says Manrique, "Fernando is an even greater friend."

Everyone inside Fernando’s inner-circle knows that even though he made the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires recently, he is not a threat here at the Sony Ericsson Open. What Fernando most wants is to be competitive and put up a good fight for those people who came to see him play his last tournament. When the final point was played and Fernando went down 7-6 in the third set against Nicolas Mahut, after saving a couple of match points along the way, he allowed himself to go out with his head up and back straight. Gonzalez carved out a career that included a Top 5 finish in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, three Olympic medals; gold, silver and bronze, and 11 ATP World Tour titles.

Fernando Gonzalez will not be remembered most for his amount of wins on Tour, but for the impact he had on the tennis industry. Proof of how well respected he has been on the ATP World Tour could be found at his farewell party, thrown by his longtime sponsors and management agency at a downtown Miami club. Novak Djokovic showed up, as did Juan Martin del Potro, Gael Monfils and Nicolas Massu among others ATP past and present greats. The highlight of the night was a video montage of Gonzalez career that went all the way back to when he was six years old. There was even footage of a young Fernando telling a reporter that his dream is to one day be ranked among the Top 10 in the world.

The first day of his new life as Fernando Gonzalez the person and not the tennis player, he sat down with DEUCE in Key Colony apartments in Key Biscayne. By his side were his father, Fernando Sr. and his older sister, Patricia.

DEUCE: When and where did you make the decision to retire from tennis?

FERNANDO: The first weeks of January I was in Chile and I was practising hard to get ready for Vina del Mar. And I was feeling like I have to do this. Every day and every time I have to get up and train. And every day I say to myself that I have to do this. I have to do this. And one morning I said to myself, ‘No, I don’t have to do this anymore’. All my life I have sacrificed for tennis. And I was happy to do it. But I just did not have the energy to do it properly anymore. It was not an easy decision but I feel at peace with myself because I know that I gave 100 per cent throughout my entire career.

DEUCE: What were you thinking when you lined up to serve down two match points in the third set? (4-5, 15/40)

FERNANDO: I was thinking this could be my last point that I would ever play. After that I played two great points. There was a lot of feelings. I felt like it was the end. It was a very special match because I was thinking that this could be it. At the end it was something that I never lived with those kind of feelings.

DEUCE: How does it feel to see such an outpouring of support from the tennis industry and tennis fans for your son?

FERNANDO SR.: It has been beautiful. Since he was a young boy in Chile, Fernando has always loved little kids and people. He is very much a people person. But tennis was on his mind every day. I remember his birthdays; he only wanted gifts that were related to tennis: racquets and balls. And I think we still have some gifts that he never opened because he knew that they were not about tennis. He was very focused on his goals as a little boy.

PATRICIA: That is right. He always wanted to play tennis. We have a video of a reporter who asked Fernando when he was like seven or eight years old what he wanted from tennis. And Fernando said very clearly that his dream was to one day be among the Top 10 in the world.

DEUCE: When did you first realise that Fernando had a special talent for tennis?

FERNANDO SR.: I remember when Fernando was four years old he was always very coordinated, whether it was football or tennis or whatever. Physically he was very good. But the truth is that when we were really convinced that he had a special talent is when we saw a video of Andre Agassi playing tennis when he was six or seven years old. And I compared Fernando’s ability to that of Agassi’s at the same age, and from that moment we got very excited and it became all tennis for our family.

DEUCE: Which final was the toughest for you to lose? Australian Open (2007 l. to Federer), or the Olympics (2008 l. to Nadal)?

FERNANDO: Wow. That is a tough question. They both hurt a lot. I guess, maybe Australia as I had more chances to win. I was playing the best tennis of my life. And on the set point, 40-15 I went to his (Federer) backhand, and probably I should have hit it harder to the other side. But in Beijing it was different. I was not playing great tennis at the time. And then the draw kind of opened up and I started to do better. Walking out onto the court for the final against Rafa felt like revenge after four years because I could not play the finals in Athens. But I was not so confident as I knew I had to beat the best player in the world at that moment. I was nervous. I knew that Rafa played this kind of big pressure match three or four times per year. And for me it was like only the third or fourth big match in my whole life. I knew Rafa had more experience than me. But still I thought that I might get some chances.

DEUCE: What do you think life will be like after the ATP?

FERNANDO: I think in the beginning it will not be that tough, because I plan to do many things like travel. I want to see and feel what it is like to travel the world without a tennis bag. But certainly sooner or later I will begin to miss the competition.

DEUCE: Will we see you on the ATP Champions Tour?

FERNANDO: I have to wait for two years, yes? But I am sure I will play. Tennis will always be a part of my life.

DEUCE: Can you name one moment in Fernando’s career that stands out?

FERNANDO SR.: To select one moment in his entire tennis career that is the most special is very difficult. There have been so many. But Roland Garros when he won the Juniors was very special as it was the starting pointing of his career. We were so happy. I think this is the one tournament that I that think of the most.

DEUCE: Forehand to forehand, who was your toughest opponent?

FERNANDO: Another tough question. Del Potro hits a very hard forehand, but I would have to say that Carlos Moya had probably the best against me. He could hit it wherever he wanted to. His precision was incredible.

Fernando Sr., Fernando and Patricia oblige and pose for some photos like they have done a thousand times before. Then they turn towards the beach and slowly walk off into the sunset.

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2012/Fernando-Gonzalez.aspx

AliceMariaRenka
03-30-2012, 09:04 PM
Wow, that went largely unreported. Sad news. I remember seeing him on TV and thinking he was very attractive! I had a bit of a crush! It's sad he won't be playing again unless he does do the Champions Tour which I hope he does.

Jimnik
03-30-2012, 09:30 PM
Miss you already Mr Forehand.