Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gonzalez Ready To Return Stronger 27 February 2010, many Chileans were present as Fernando Gonzalez suffered a dramatic three-set loss to David Ferrer in the semi-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco. An hour after the match, in Chile, there was an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami that claimed the lives of almost a thousand people and destroyed cities.

Santiago native Gonzalez couldn't believe the apocalyptic images he saw on the television. For that reason he cancelled his participation at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and took a flight back to visit the damaged areas and send a heartfelt message to the victims of the disaster.

Following the natural disaster, Gonzalez was then hit by another problem - tendinitis in both knees that has furthered impeded his 2010 season.

"There are good and bad moments. Some way or another I haven't felt good on court. The feeling is very important and the past weeks it hasn't been like I wanted it, but I have no doubt it will go back to the way I've always liked it to be", said an optimistic Gonzalez, who will recover back home in Santiago while he waits for the doctor's advice. He has already withdrawn from Wimbledon and he could yet miss the Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Czech Republic if he his recovery takes two months.

What made the tendinitis so bad?
I had calcification in both knees. When one hurts you try to compensate with the other. With good work, rest and rehab I will be better.

Some time ago you said that you learned to live with the pain.
I've had it since the 2002 Australian Open...

So you have dealt with it almost for your whole career?
It's been coming and going. I've had good and bad moments. I had a very bad moment in 2003, after that I could recover well but last year at Wimbledon it started all over again and hasn't stopped since then.

After the defeat in the Roland Garros second round, you will lose important points at the South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings. How will you deal with that?
I prefer to have a bad ranking and be healthy, rather than get to a ranking that would be tough to maintain without being in optimum physical condition.

With your absence at Wimbledon you will bring to an end a run of 35 successive Grand Slam appearances.
Some time ago I realised I have played all the Grand Slams since 2002. I thought about how good it was and I was lucky not to be injured. No I'll have to miss one. I hope it's the only one so I can play a lot more.

Next month you will turn 30, you suffer a chronic injury, but you told your Twitter fans that you're not thinking about retirement.
Twitter has been very helpful; it's my main source for keeping in touch with people. Sometimes the media needs to sell more so they publish information about a possible retirement. But that wasn't true. Retirement is not in my head. I still have a lot of goals on my career and I have fun playing. I can't imagine my life without competitive tennis. Retirement is not an issue. They published that without asking me so that bothered me. Thank God there's Twitter so I could tell people that wasn't true.

Twitter and your official web site have become a habit now that you have more free time.
Social networking is very important. People want and need communication. Everyone is connected by their mobile phones, chat and social networks. Tennis fans feel closer because of that. When you're constantly talking about what's going on, what you think, people like that. It's a spontaneous communication.

How long will your recovery take?
The first thing is to feel better, recover from the injuries. The rest will come by itself. I can't make the mistake of playing 25 tournaments. I've always played few tournaments. The important thing is to take it easy and take my rest time seriously; that has always been important in my career.

What's the positive side of being without competition?
The positive thing is that I will have a lot of energy when I come back. I will appreciate more what I have achieved in this sport. When you're out you feel the passion for the game more. I've also done some things that I miss. That gives you energy to keep on playing.

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