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Fernando Gonzalez

tennis player
Full name: Fernando Franscisco Gonzalez
Nickname: Stone Hand, Gonzo
Alias: Ciuffardi
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Bio Fernando Francisco González Ciuffardi 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).

González was born in Santiago, Chile. 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.

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, and Pete Sampras. González qualified twice for the year-end Masters Cup event and was runner-up at two Masters Series tournaments.

González was known for having one of the hardest forehands on the tour. In Spanish he is called El Bombardero de La Reina ("The La Reina Bomber") and Mano de Piedra ("Stone Hand").

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.
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