Fernando Francisco González Ciuffardi (American Spanish: [feɾˈnando ɣonˈsales];[a] born 29 July 1980) is a retired professional tennis player from Chile. During his career he made it to the quarterfinal round of all four Grand Slam tournaments. He played his only major final at the 2007 Australian Open, losing to top-seeded Roger Federer. He is the fourth male tennis player in history to have won each Olympic medal (gold in doubles and bronze in singles at Athens 2004, and silver in singles at Beijing 2008). The gold medal González won together with Nicolás Massú in the 2004 Olympic doubles competition was the first ever gold medal won by Chile at the Olympics.
|Residence||La Reina, Santiago, Chile|
|Born||29 July 1980|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Highest ranking||No. 5 (29 January 2007)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||F (2007)|
|French Open||SF (2009)|
|US Open||QF (2002, 2009)|
|Tour Finals||RR (2005, 2007)|
|Olympic Games||F (2008)|
|Highest ranking||No. 25 (4 July 2005)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||QF (2010)|
|French Open||SF (2005)|
|US Open||QF (2004)|
|Wimbledon Senior||RR (2015, 2016, 2017)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||W (2004)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|French Open||QF (2006)|
|Davis Cup||QF (2006, 2010)|
|Coaching career (2018–)|
Throughout his career, González defeated many past and present top players, including Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer (all while they held the top spot), Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moyá, Gustavo Kuerten, Marat Safin, Pete Sampras, and Andy Murray. González qualified twice for the year-end Masters Cup event and was runner-up at two Masters Series tournaments.
At age four, González spent his time playing both football and tennis. His father, who was an amateur tennis player, was able to convince his son to opt for tennis over football. He began playing tennis at the age of six. He moved in with his family to La Reina in eastern Santiago, where he practiced with his coach Claudio González (no relation) at the Club La Reina three times a week.
In 1988, at age eight, González and his father spent a month and a half in the United States, training and playing in tennis championships. In 1992 he moved with his whole family to the U.S. for four years. They settled in Miami, where González perfected his play at the Patricio Apey Academy.
As a junior, González won the US Open Boys' Doubles (with compatriot Nicolás Massú) in 1997, and the French Open singles (defeating a young Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final) and doubles (with Venezuelan José de Armas) in 1998. That year, at 17, he made his Davis Cup debut in Chile's tie against Argentina, losing in four sets to Franco Squillari. He won his first Davis Cup tie in a doubles rubber partnering Massú. González reached as high as No. 4 in the world in singles and No. 2 in doubles.
González achieved success at the Futures level in 1998. In the three Futures events held in Chile that year, he reached two semifinals and defeated Italian Enzo Artoni in the final in Santiago.
González became a professional in 1999. Early in the year, he played mainly at the Futures level. He reached his first challenger quarterfinal in Edinburgh. He played his first ATP tournament in Washington, defeating Ivan Ljubičić in the first round, before losing to Marc Rosset.
González won his first ATP title in May 2000 when he defeated Massú at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships final in Orlando, Florida. It was the first all-Chilean ATP final since Jaime Fillol defeated Ricardo Acuña in the 1982 Itaparica final.
In January 2001, González played at the Australian Open for the first time, losing in the first round to Guillermo Coria in four sets. In May, he debuted at Roland Garros's main singles draw, reaching the second round. He continued to play Challengers and smaller ATP events throughout the year. Notable results include a final at the Montevideo Challenger (losing to David Nalbandian), and semifinals, at Zagreb and Lima.
In February 2002, González won his second career ATP title in Viña del Mar by defeating Nicolás Lapentti in the final, and later that year he won his third title in Palermo, Italy and reached the semifinals at the Cincinnati Masters (defeating seeded Tim Henman and Andy Roddick en route), and the quarterfinals at the US Open. In September he surpassed former no. 1 player Marcelo Ríos as the top Chilean in the singles rankings and was one of the most improved players on the ATP circuit, jumping 123 positions in the ATP singles rankings.
In May 2003, González reached the quarterfinals of Hamburg and the French Open. In between, he won the World Team Championship clay event for Chile, winning all his singles and doubles matches. Later in the year, he reached the finals of Washington and Metz and made the Stuttgart semifinals. In doubles, he and partner Tommy Robredo reached the semifinals at Miami.
In February 2004, González repeated his Viña del Mar title by defeating Gustavo Kuerten in the final. He also Retain with Chile the World Team Cup. In August, at the Olympic Games in Athens, he and doubles partner Massú gave their country its first ever Olympic gold medal, when they defeated Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schüttler of Germany to win the men's doubles tournament. He also won a bronze medal in the men's singles. Gonzalez had to play the bronze medal match against Taylor Dent and the doubles final on the same day. Also, he saved match points in both games, most notably four match points in the doubles final in the fourth set tiebreak.
González began the season by taking the title in Auckland, New Zealand, his first hard court title. In April, he won his first ATP doubles tournament (and second after the Olympics), in Valencia (clay) with doubles partner Martín Rodríguez. After reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in June, he went on to win the ATP tournament in Amersfoort (clay), The Netherlands in the following month. He further proved his all-court versatility by winning the indoors-carpet singles title at Basel, as well as winning the doubles title in the same tournament with partner Agustín Calleri. The results for 2005 were enough for him to attend the year-end Masters Cup in Shanghai, first as a reserve, and then as a player due to the withdrawal of Andre Agassi after his first match. González became the first Chilean to win a Masters match when he beat Mariano Puerta and just missed out on making the semifinal—and finishing the year as number 11—after losing to Gastón Gaudio in a match in which he had three match points.
In April, González became the third Chilean (after Ríos and Massú) to break into the top 10 singles ranking. In May, he reached no. 10 in the world after winning a quarterfinal match at the Monte-Carlo Masters shortly after parting ways with longtime coach Horacio de la Peña, who was then replaced by Larry Stefanki. After reaching his first Masters Series singles final in Madrid (losing to Roger Federer in straight sets) in October, he ascended to world no. 7. He finished the year at no. 10.
In January, González reached the Australian Open singles final, thereby becoming the first Chilean to have reached the quarterfinal round in all four Grand Slam tournaments and the fourth Chilean (third male) to have reached a Grand Slam tournament final. He beat—in succession—Evgeny Korolev, Juan Martín del Potro, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake, world no. 2 Rafael Nadal, and Tommy Haas en route to the final, which he lost to world no. 1 Roger Federer in (relatively close) straight sets. On 29 January, he jumped to no. 5, his best career singles ranking, and only five points behind no. 4. In May, he became the first Chilean to reach the finals of the Rome Masters since Ríos won the title in 1998. At the US Open, González was upset by Teymuraz Gabashvili in a five-set thriller. From July to August, González went on a five-match losing streak, which ended in September, when he captured the China Open tournament title in Beijing. In November, he became the first Chilean since Ríos in 1998 to directly qualify for the Tennis Masters Cup. In his opening match, he staged a huge upset by beating top-ranked Federer for the first time in eleven encounters. He then lost to Andy Roddick and Nikolay Davydenko, finishing last of his group. He ended the season at no. 7, his highest year-end ranking to date.
At the Australian Open in January, González failed to defend all his points from the previous year and fell from no. 7 to no. 24 in the ATP singles rankings. He bounced back the following week, winning his home event at Viña del Mar for the third time, rising to no. 16. In May, he won his tenth ATP title at the BMW Open in Munich. The following month, he reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the second time, losing to top seed Roger Federer in four sets. In August, González represented Chile at the Beijing Olympic Games in both singles and doubles events. At the opening ceremony, he was his country's standard bearer. As in Athens 2004, he partnered with Massú in doubles, but was unable to defend his gold, exiting in the first round. In singles, he improved his Olympic record, clinching a silver medal, after beating James Blake of the United States in the semifinals. In the gold medal match, he lost in straight sets to Spain's Rafael Nadal.
At the 2008 U.S. Open in September, he lost in the fourth round to former local champion, Andy Roddick, 2–6, 4–6, 1–6. He ended the season at no. 15. In November, at the end of the season, Stefanki ceased coaching González after a job offer from Roddick. On 12 December, González announced he had hired former Argentine player Martín Rodríguez as his new full-time coach for 2009.
In the first round of the Australian Open, González prevailed over Lleyton Hewitt in a five-set thriller which lasted 3 hours and 7 minutes. In the third round, González came back from two sets down to defeat Richard Gasquet of France, 3–6, 3–6, 7–6, 6–2, 12–10, in a match that lasted over four hours. He bowed out of the tournament with a straight-sets defeat against world no. 1 and eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
At the Viña del Mar tournament in February, González was victorious again, taking the title for the fourth time in five finals. He overpowered all of his opponents with a solid display of tennis and did not drop a set throughout the whole tournament. He defeated his good friend José Acasuso, 6–1, 6–3, in the final. With this win, he returned to the top 15 in singles.
In early March, González missed the Davis Cup tie against Croatia due to a back injury. In April, he resigned from the Chilean Davis Cup team, citing a violation of a confidentiality agreement, after the local tennis federation disclosed the amount of money won by the players at the tie against Australia. He conditioned his return on the resignation of the federation's current directive, promising he would relinquish all his future Davis Cup proceeds to the "benefit of younger players."
At the start of the clay-court season, González reached the semifinals at Barcelona and Rome. He withdrew from Munich and Madrid, after twisting his ankle while signing autographs in Rome. At the French Open, he reached the semifinals for the first time, beating third seed Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he played Robin Söderling, who had previously defeated top seed Rafael Nadal and Nikolay Davydenko. González came just two games away from winning that match during the fifth set, after holding an advantage of 4–1.
At the US Open, González reached the quarterfinals for the second time, beating seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round. He was defeated by third seed Rafael Nadal in a match repeatedly delayed by rain. The match was suspended on Thursday night with González trailing, 6–7, 6–6, down 2–3 in the tiebreaker. When the match resumed on Saturday, González was visibly flat, losing the remaining four points in the tiebreaker and not winning a game in the third set.
With his notable performances at the French and US Open, González achieved a career-high 14 victories in Grand Slam events during the year.
Having defeated Olivier Rochus, Marsel İlhan and Evgeny Korolev in the Australian Open, González was defeated by Andy Roddick in the fourth round in a tense, controversial five-set match lasting 3 hours and 25 minutes. On set point in the fourth set, a Roddick forehand winner was called out which Roddick challenged. Hawk-eye revealed that the ball was in fact in, and Roddick received the set. Gonzalez argued that the point should have been replayed, as he had been in the right position and would have made a play on the ball if it had been called in. Gonzalez lost the match, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4, 5–7, 2–6.
He entered the 2010 Movistar Open, held in Santiago for the first time that year (previously at Viña del Mar), as the two-time defending champion. He made the semifinals, losing to Thomaz Bellucci in three sets (after being a break up in the second set and two games away from victory).
He also made the semifinals at the 2010 Abierto Mexicano Telcel. He beat all of his opponents; Sam Querrey, Victor Hănescu, and Eduardo Schwank, in three sets, before losing badly to David Ferrer. Gonzalez decided to skip the 1000 Masters in Indian Wells to travel to areas affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile.
In early March, alongside his teammates, he defeated Israel in the Davis Cup to send Chile to the quarterfinals. He returned to the ATP Tour Masters 1000 in Miami, where he lost in the fourth round to Robin Söderling. He also hosted a benefit for the Chilean earthquake victims, Champions for Chile, appearing alongside Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, and Gustavo Kuerten.
During the clay season, Gonzalez played only one tournament in Houston, where he reached the quarterfinals. At Roland Garros, he was defeated in the second round and sidelined for almost three months with a knee injury.
Gonzalez returned in New Haven, where he lost in the second round to Radek Štěpánek. At the US Open, he retired from his first-round match against Ivan Dodig. On 21 September, Gonzalez announced that he would be having surgery on his right hip, and possibly right knee, on 4 October and was expected to be out for eight to nine months.
Gonzalez announced he would return to Belgrade for "the start of the end of my career." He defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round of Wimbledon and made it to the third round, where he was defeated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, 3–6, 4–6, 3–6.
On 9 February 2012 González announced that he would retire from professional tennis after the 2012 Miami Masters. He played his last professional match on 21 March 2012 at the Miami tournament, losing in three sets to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in the first round.
González was born in Santiago, Chile. His father, Fernando González Ramírez, is the manager of the Molina flour mill in Santiago and his mother, Patricia Ciuffardi, a housewife. He has an older sister, Patricia, and a younger sister, Jéssica. He studied primary school at Colegio de La Salle and finished secondary school at Colegio Terra Nova.
Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit
- "The man behind Mr Forehand".
- Grupo Copesa (9 February 2012). "Fernando González anuncia su retiro del tenis profesional".
- "Fernando González cerró su carrera con heroico partido en Miami".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fernando González.|
| Flagbearer for Chile
Denisse van Lamoen