Full Name: Fernando Francisco Gonzalez Ciuffardi
DOB: 29 July 1980
Turned Pro: 1999
Highest Rank: 5 (29.1.2007)
Current Rank: 11
Plays: Right handed, single handed backhand
Career Prize Money: $8, 606, 732
Fernando was born in Santiago, Chile, and like a lot of South American and Spanish players Gonzalez grew up playing both tennis and soccer but was encouraged by his father, who had been an amateur tennis player, to continue with tennis instead.
Gonzalez, a former world number 1 junior player, won the US Open junior doubles in 1997 and followed in up with victories in singles and doubles at Roland Garros in 1998. After a successful 1998, Fernando was named in the Chilean Davis Cup team as a 17 year old. He turned pro the following year.
In 2004 Gonzalez brought great joy to Chile, and increased his local fame enormously, by winning Chile’s first ever gold medal in doubles tennis with Nicolas Massu. He also won the bronze medal that year. This however, hasn’t been Fernando’s only success at the Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing games Fernando won a silver medal in the singles with Rafa Nadal taking gold and Novak Djokovic taking bronze.
In 2007 he achieve his best ever result in a Grand Slam, making the Australian Open finals where he lost to Roger Federer. He can won 11 career singles titles, all 250 series. He has never won any 500 or 1000 Masters level tournaments. He was runner up in Madrid in 2006 and in Rome in 2007. 8 of Gonzo’s titles have come on clay.
When he’s not smashing racquets (which he does with great ease), or thumping forehands, Fernando has also aided numerous charities, most recently setting up the Champions for Chile exhibition match in Miami that raised $125,000. Gonzalez also skipped Indian Wells, touring his country instead to assess the damage after the 8.8 earthquake.