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Old 01-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #1801
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That is very good!
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #1802
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He has a WC in Buenos Aires too. Hope he'll really play
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:50 PM   #1803
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Fernando Gonzalez: "I Feel At Home Here"

Miami, USA
by Matt Fitzgerald

20.03.2012



Fernando Gonzalez is playing his final tournament.

On Wednesday evening, Fernando Gonzalez will open night-session action at the Sony Ericsson Open against Nicolas Mahut. The Chilean is competing at his final event, having announced his decision to retire in February.

SonyEricssonOpen.com sat down with the three-time Olympic medalist, discussing his reason to finish his career in Miami and what he’ll miss most about playing tennis professionally.

How special has been to play this event over the course of your career with the number of Latin American fans who turn out from all over the world?

It’s been huge, because I came to this tournament many times when I was a teenager, as a fan. Then I had a chance to play here many times as a player, and there was a lot of people from Chile and Latin America here. I feel at home here.

In your first appearance in Miami 10 years ago, you reached the round of 16, taking out Carlos Moya and Pete Sampras. Reflect on that run for us…

I was very excited, because it was the first time I was going to play at the tournament. I had the chance to play against my idol Pete Sampras, and to beat him was really big for my career.

What made you decide to call it a career at this tournament as opposed to other events?

This event is very special for me with all the Latin American people here. I saw this tournament as a fan many times. And also all my colleagues are here, so I think it’s the right place and time to finish my career.

You’ve really been the face of tennis in Chile, along with Nicolas Massu. Moving forward, what impact do you hope to have on future tennis generations in your country?

I hope that it’s going to be big, as we need to have more people playing tennis in Chile. I think they need more motivation in many of the cities. It’s a big responsibility for me and Nicolas to do something to improve that.

What are you going to miss most about playing on the ATP World Tour?

I’m going to miss the competition and preparing for something very important, both physically and mentally. I’ll also miss the locker room, being in different places with many of the same guys.

Out of all the matches you’ve played, which one is the most memorable?

The semi-final of the Australian Open against Tommy Haas. I played the best tennis of my life.

… what was it about that match that brought out your best tennis?

I don’t know if I can tell you because I couldn’t play that way again. But I remember that everything was connected. I didn’t have to think too much. And I played like I always wished I would.

If you had to give advice to some younger tennis players who want to emulate your signature forehand, what would you tell them?

Have no fear, practice a lot and try to use all of your body. When you hit the ball, you don’t only use your arm, but use your entire body.

Source: http://www.sonyericssonopen.com/News...Interview.aspx
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #1804
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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/DEU...-Gonzalez.aspx
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:37 AM   #1805
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Golden Gonzalez: Chile's Olympic hero keeps his medals hidden away

By Chris Murphy, CNN
August 3, 2012

(CNN) -- Chile has only ever won 13 medals in the history of the Olympics -- and three of them are tucked safely away in Fernando Gonzalez's closet.

The 35-year-old, who retired from tennis in March, was famed for his fearsome forehand during 13 years on the pro circuit, winning 11 ATP Tour titles. However, it is the full set of medals from the Games that he counts as his finest achievement in the sport.

The Athens Olympics of 2004 yielded gold in the men's doubles with partner Nicolas Massu, and a bronze in the singles as his compatriot won that competition too -- becoming the only man to claim both titles at the same Games.

Four years later, in Beijing, Gonzalez reached the showpiece singles final but was thwarted in his bid for a second gold by Rafael Nadal.

While the Spaniard was not able to defend his title at London 2012 due to injury, Gonzalez returned to the world's biggest sporting extravaganza in an ambassadorial role.

"I always wanted to play the Olympics," he told CNN's Open Court. "I got there with Nicolas thinking that of course it will be a really tough competition, but the main thing in tennis is that you always have a chance to win even if you are fourth in the world going against number one. It is not like the other sports.

"It was something really special to us because we had been used to the tour and spending time with the other tennis players, but this time we were with other athletes and it was very exciting because you could see the different kinds of bodies in the same place."

Gonzalez and Massu's gold rush provoked a surge of pride and patriotism back in Chile, which the pair could only get a true taste of when they returned home as national heroes.

That they had to wait over a month to feel the country's full embrace, due to the U.S. Open coming swiftly after the Games, only made their homecoming more sweet.

"When we went back three or four weeks later it was huge," said the man dubbed "Gonzo" and "Stone Hand."

"The president received us at the government palace. We had breakfast with him and we went out unto the balcony, which is a very popular background where very few people walk out on.

"And there was a lot of people, a few thousand people. It was very exciting and I never dreamed that tennis could give me the chance to have that experience."

After his heroics in 2004, Gonzalez had the ultimate honor bestowed upon him prior to the start of the Beijing Games when he was asked to carry Chile's flag for the opening ceremony.

"It was one of my best moments because you are an ambassador for your country in the world," he said. "For me it feels like to win something important. It is really huge."

The only other tennis player to fulfill the same role for his nation in China was 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, who defeated Gonzalez in the only major final he ever made -- at the 2007 Australian Open.

Gonzalez turned professional in 1999 and took his first ATP Tour title the year after, his rapier-like forehand cementing his reputation as one of the hottest young players on the circuit.

He reached his first grand slam quarterfinal in 2005 at Wimbledon and made the season-ending ATP Tour Finals, contested by the world's top eight players.

He subsequently made the last eight of every major tournament, while the four titles he clinched on home soil, in Vina del Mar, also rank as a career highlight.

But it is the success Gonzalez has enjoyed on the international stage that has come to define his career, both in a litany of Davis Cup matches with Chile and at the Olympics.

Despite the country's fervent love of football, Gonzalez always had his heart set on a career on the baseline rather than the touchline.

"In the beginning I just wanted to see tennis. I went to go see some cups and I feel the passion of the sport and then I went to see the national team of football, but I always wanted to go and play tennis.

"Then one thing led to another and I wanted to play tennis and I wanted to represent my country and you know the passion that the people of Chile gave me was really important for my career."

It has been less than six months since Gonzalez called time on his career and, though he says he doesn't miss the grueling travels schedule and endless hotel pit-stops, the Chilean admits he will miss that feeling of being on court in front of thousands of fans.

But his dual love for the game and his country will also dominate his future, as he plans to help promote tennis in Chile through his foundation and broaden access for those who haven't had the chance to play.

"In Chile there is a lot of talent but maybe the people do not know they have the talent. There are many good football players playing in Europe at a really good level and I think in tennis we can do something similar," he said.

"Not like them, but we can do really well. But also I want to be involved in tennis. I have a few offers to start to work with but I want to take my time.

"It is the first time in my life to have enough time for me, so I'm going to start next year. I love tennis and I will stay around."

And as for his most treasured possessions, where does he keep his hat-trick of Olympic medals?

"They are at my house in the closet," he replies. "Some people come to my house and say, 'Show me them,' but they don't care about the rest, they care about the medals."

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/03/sp...lez/index.html
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #1806
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Gonzo is going into coaching now, going to work with a 19 year old Chilean player.

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Old 04-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #1807
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in 2 hours more he will play against Juan Carlos Ferrero (last match for gonzo ..)
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:53 PM   #1808
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.. Which he won 6-4 6-4. los Grandes se retiran así!
http://www.biobiochile.cl/2013/04/14...nte-alto.shtml
Nice to see that besides Gonzo, also one of my favourites - JCF - is playing in this farewell event in Chile.
One final CHI CHI CHI - LE LE LE - VIVA CHILE for Fernando!
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