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Fernando Francisco González Ciuffardi (born July 29, 1980) is a professional tennis player from Chilemarker. He is known for having one of the hardest hitting forehands on the circuit. In Spanish he is called El bombardero de La Reina ("The La Reinamarker bomber") and Mano de Piedra ("Stone Hand"). The English-language media has labeled him "Gonzo."

González is one of the few active players to have reached at least the quarter-final round of all four Grand Slam tournaments. He played his first major final at the 2007 Australian Open, losing to top-ranked 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). Throughout his career, he has defeated many former number-one players, including Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer (all while they held the top spot), Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moyà, Gustavo Kuerten, Marat Safin and Pete Sampras. González has qualified twice for the year-end Masters Cup event and was runner-up at two Masters Series tournaments.

Tennis career

Early years

At age four, González spent his time playing both soccer and tennis. His father, who was an amateur tennis player since his 20s, was able to convince his son to opt for tennis over soccer. He began playing tennis at the age of six. He moved in with his family to the La Reinamarker commune 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 Statesmarker, training and playing in tennis championships. In 1992 he moved in with his whole family to the U.S. for four years. They settled in Miamimarker, where González perfected his play at the Patricio Apey Academy.

As a junior, González achieved the world number one ranking. He won the US Openmarker boys doubles (with compatriot Nicolás Massú) in 1997, and the French Openmarker singles (defeating a young Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final) and doubles (with Venezuelanmarker José de Armas) in 1998. That year, aged 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 achieved success at futures level in 1998. In the three futures events held in Chile that year, he reached two semi-finals and defeated Italian Enzo Artoni in the final in Santiago.

1999-2004

González became a professional in 1999. In the early stages of the year he played mainly at futures level. He reached his first challenger quarter-final in Edinburghmarker. He played his first ATP tournament in Washingtonmarker, 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, Floridamarker. It was the first all-Chilean ATP final since Jaime Fillol defeated Ricardo Acuña in the 1982 Itaparicamarker final.

In January 2001 González played at the Australian Openmarker for the first time, losing in the first round to Guillermo Coria in four sets. In May he debuted at Roland Garrosmarker'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 Marmarker by defeating Nicolás Lapentti in the final, and later that year he won his third title in Palermomarker, Italy and reached the semi-finals 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 number one 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 quarters of Hamburgmarker and the French Openmarker. 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 Washingtonmarker and Metzmarker and made the Stuttgartmarker semis. In doubles, he and partner Tommy Robredo reached the semi-finals at Miamimarker.

In February 2004, González repeated his Viña del Marmarker title by defeating Gustavo Kuerten in the final. In August, at the Olympic Games in Athensmarker, 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.

2005



González began the season by taking the title in Auckland, New Zealand — his first hard court title — in January. 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 Wimbledonmarker in June, he went on to win the ATP tournament in Amersfoortmarker (clay), The Netherlands in the following month. He further proved his all-court versatility by winning the indoors-carpet singles title at Baselmarker 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 10 — after losing to Gastón Gaudio in a match in which he had three match points.

2006

In April González became the third Chilean (after Ríos and Massú) to break into the top ten singles ranking. He reached number 10 in the world after winning a quarterfinal match at the Monte Carlo Mastersmarker — shortly after parting ways with longtime coach Horacio de la Peña, who was then replaced by Larry Stefanki in May. After reaching his first Masters Series singles final in Madrid (losing to Roger Federer in straight sets) in October, he ascended to world number seven. He finished the year at number ten.

2007

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 number two Rafael Nadal, and Tommy Haas en route to the final, which he lost to world number one Roger Federer in (relatively close) straight sets. On January 29 he jumped to number five, his best career singles ranking, and only five points behind number four. In May he became the first Chilean to reach the finals of the Rome Mastersmarker since Ríos won the title in 1998. 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. On 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 number seven, his highest year-end ranking to date.

2008

At the Australian Open, in January, González failed to defend the totality of the points obtained the year earlier, and fell from 7th to 24th place in the ATP Singles Ranking. He bounced back the following week, winning his home event of Viña del Mar for the third time, rising to number 16. In May he won his 10th ATP title at the BMW Openmarker in Munichmarker. The following month, he reached the quarters of the French Open for the second time, losing to number-one seed Roger Federer in four sets. In August, González represented Chile at the Beijing Olympic Games in both singles and doubles events. At the Games' 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 a matched marred by controversy. In the gold medal match, he lost in straight sets to Spain's Rafael Nadal.
At the 2008 U.S.marker Openmarker in September, he lost in the 4th round to former local champion, Andy Roddick, 2-6, 4-6, 1-6. He ended the season at number 15. In November, at the end of the season, Stefanki ceased coaching González after a job offer from Roddick. On December 12, González announced he had hired former Argentine player Martín Rodríguez as his new full-time coach for 2009.

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(10), 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 number one and eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the 4th 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 Croatiamarker 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 of his future Davis Cup proceeds to the "benefit of younger players."

At the start of the claycourt season González reached the semis at Barcelona and Romemarker. He withdrew from Munichmarker and Madrid, after twisting his ankle while signing autographs in Rome. At the French Openmarker he reached the semifinals for the first time, beating third seed Andy Murray in the quarters. In the semis, he played by 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 7th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round. He was defeated by 3rd seed Rafael Nadal in a match repeatedly delayed by rain. The match was suspended on Thursday night with González trailing 6-7(4), 6-6, down 3-2 in the tiebreaker. When the match resumed on Saturday, González was visibly flat, losing the remaining four points in the tiebreaker, and didn't win a game in the third set.

With his notable performances at the French and US Open, González achieved a career high of 14 victories in Grand Slam events during the year.

Personal life

González was born in Santiagomarker, Chilemarker. His father, Fernando González Ramírez, is the manager of the Molino Balmaceda flour mill in Santiago and his mother, Patricia Ciuffardi Muñoz, 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.

González is a very private person and rarely discusses aspects of his personal life with the press. Outside of tennis, he enjoys fishing and golf. When he's not travelling around the world participating in tennis tournaments, he spends his time in Miami, where he has an apartment in Brickellmarker. Whenever he has more than two weeks off he stays in his native Chile with his family.

Major finals

Grand Slam finals

Singles: 1 (0-1)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2007 Australian Openmarker Hard Roger Federer 6–7(2), 4–6, 4–6


Olympic finals

Singles: 2 (1 silver, 1 bronze medal)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Bronze 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Taylor Dent 6–4, 2–6, 16–14
Silver 2008 Beijing Olympics Hard Rafael Nadal 3–6, 6–7(2), 3–6


Doubles: 1 (1 gold medal)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Gold 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Nicolás Massú Nicolas Kiefer

Rainer Schüttler
6–2, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6(7), 6–4


Masters Series finals

Singles: 2 (0-2)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2006 Madrid Hard (i) Roger Federer 5–7, 1–6, 0–6
Runner-up 2007 Romemarker Clay Rafael Nadal 2–6, 2–6


Career finals

Singles: 22 (11-11)

Wins (11)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
Grand Slam tournaments (0)
Tennis Masters Cup /

ATP World Tour Finals (0)
ATP Masters Series /

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0)
ATP International Series Gold /

ATP World Tour 500 Series (2)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (9)
Titles by Surface
Hard (2)
Clay (8)
Grass (0)
Carpet (1)
Titles by Surface
Outdoors (10)
Indoors (1)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. May 7, 2000 Orlando, USAmarker Clay Nicolás Massú 6–2, 6–3
2. February 17, 2002 Viña del Marmarker, Chilemarker Clay Nicolás Lapentti 6–3, 6–7(5), 7–6(4)
3. September 29, 2002 Palermo, Italymarker Clay José Acasuso 5–7, 6–3, 6–1
4. February 15, 2004 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Gustavo Kuerten 7–5, 6–4
5. January 16, 2005 Auckland, New Zealandmarker Hard Olivier Rochus 6–4, 6–2
6. July 24, 2005 Amersfoort, Netherlandsmarker Clay Agustín Calleri 7–5, 6–3
7. October 30, 2005 Basel, Switzerlandmarker Carpet (i) Marcos Baghdatis 6–7(10), 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
8. September 16, 2007 Beijing, Chinamarker Hard Tommy Robredo 6–1, 3–6, 6–1
9. February 3, 2008 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Juan Mónaco walkover
10. May 4, 2008 Munichmarker, Germanymarker Clay Simone Bolelli 7–6(4), 6–7(4), 6–3
11. February 8, 2009 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay José Acasuso 6–1, 6–3


Runners-up (11)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
Grand Slam tournaments (1)
Tennis Masters Cup /

ATP World Tour Finals (0)
ATP Masters Series /

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (2)
ATP International Series Gold /

ATP World Tour 500 Series (3)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (4)
Finals by Surface
Hard (6)
Clay (3)
Grass (0)
Carpet (2)
Finals by Surface
Outdoors (6)
Indoors (5)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. October 27, 2002 Basel, Switzerlandmarker Carpet (i) David Nalbandian 4–6, 3–6, 2–6
2. August 3, 2003 Washington, DCmarker, USAmarker Hard Tim Henman 3–6, 4–6
3. October 5, 2003 Metz, Francemarker Hard (i) Arnaud Clément 3–6, 6–1, 3–6
4. July 18, 2004 Amersfoort, Netherlandsmarker Clay Martin Verkerk 6–7(5), 6–4, 4–6
5. February 6, 2005 Viña del Marmarker, Chilemarker Clay Gastón Gaudio 3–6, 4–6
6. October 15, 2006 Vienna, Austriamarker Hard (i) Ivan Ljubičić 3–6, 4–6, 5–7
7. October 22, 2006 Madrid, Spainmarker Hard (i) Roger Federer 5–7, 1–6, 0–6
8. October 29, 2006 Basel, Switzerland Carpet (i) Roger Federer 3–6, 2–6, 6–7(3)
9. January 28, 2007 Australian Open, Melbournemarker, Australia Hard Roger Federer 6–7(2), 4–6, 4–6
10. May 13, 2007 Romemarker, Italymarker Clay Rafael Nadal 2–6, 2–6
11. August 17, 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing, Chinamarker Hard Rafael Nadal 3–6, 6–7(2), 3–6


Doubles: 4 (3-1)

Wins (3)
Legend
Olympic Gold (1)
ATP Tour (2)


No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. August 21, 2004 Summer Olympics, Athensmarker, Greecemarker Hard Nicolás Massú Nicolas Kiefer

Rainer Schüttler
6–2, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6(7), 6–4
2. April 10, 2005 Valencia, Spainmarker Clay Martín Rodríguez Lucas Arnold Ker

Mariano Hood
6–4, 6–4
3. October 30, 2005 Basel, Switzerlandmarker Carpet (i) Agustín Calleri Stephen Huss

Wesley Moodie
7–5, 7–5


Runner-up (1)
Legend
ATP Tour (1)


No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. July 24, 2005 Amersfoortmarker, Netherlandsmarker Clay Nicolás Massú Martín García

Luis Horna
4–6, 4–6


Team competition wins



Other wins

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score Notes
1. August 21, 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Taylor Dent 6–4, 2–6, 16–14 Bronze medal match


Performance timeline

Singles

Tournament 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Career win-loss
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Openmarker A A A A A 1R 4R 2R 1R 3R 1R F 3R 4R 17–9
French Openmarker A A A A Q 2R 3R QF 1R 3R 2R 1R QF SF 23–9
Wimbledonmarker A A A A A Q 2R 1R 3R QF 3R 3R 2R 3R 14–8
US Openmarker A A A A 2R Q QF 3R 1R 3R 3R 1R 4R QF 18–9
Win-Loss1 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 1–2 10–4 7–4 2–4 10–4 5–4 8–4 10–4 14–4 68–35
Year-End Championship
ATP World Tour Finals A A A A A A A A A RR A RR A A 2–3
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics A Not Held A Not Held SF-B Not Held F NH 10–2
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells Mastersmarker A A A A A A 2R 1R 3R 4R 2R 4R 2R 4R 12–8
Miami Mastersmarker A A A A A A 4R 2R SF 3R 3R 3R 3R 3R 12–8
Monte Carlo Mastersmarker A A A A A A 1R 1R 1R 3R SF 2R A A 6–6
Rome Mastersmarker A A A A A A 3R A 2R 1R QF F 3R SF 15–7
Madrid Masters A A A A A A 2R 1R 2R QF F QF 2R A 9–7
Canada Masters A A A A A A 1R 1R 3R 1R SF 2R 2R 3R 9–8
Cincinnati Masters A A A A Q A SF 2R 2R 3R SF 2R 1R 1R 12–8
Shanghai Masters Not Held 3R 2–1
Paris Masters A A A A A A 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R A 3R 0–6
Hamburg Mastersmarker A A A A A A 2R QF 3R 2R 3R QF A NM 11–6
Total Titles 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 3 0 1 2 1 11
Year End Ranking 1269 1057 580 415 115 139 18 35 23 11 10 7 15 11
A = Did not participate in the tournament.

Q = Lost in qualifying draw.

NM = Not a Masters event.

1. The win total does not include walkovers.

References

  1. The man behind Mr Forehand - Tennis - Sport - smh.com.au
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. [4]


External links




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