SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Gonzalez Approaches Finish Line
Chilean Fernando Gonzalez reflected on his looming retirement Monday while serving as the honorary draw selector for the men’s main draw at the Sony Ericsson Open. His entry into the Sony Ericsson Open as a wild card will be his last tournament. He’ll face No. 92 Nicolas Mahut, of France.
“I couldn’t stop thinking and then I realized that I did not have the same energy,” said Gonzalez, who reached a career-high No. 5 in January of 2007 and won 11 ATP World Tour titles and 370 matches since he turned pro in 1999. “I could not get up in the morning and give the same kind of intensity that’s needed to be at the top [of the rankings].”
Gonzalez pointed to the physical and mental exertion as well as the constant traveling as contributing factors that had begun to take a toll on the 31 year old. Injuries in recent years included knee pain that forced Gonzalez to retire during a Davis Cup tie last year and undergo right hip surgery in October, 2010.
His best result of 2011 came at Wimbledon, where he advanced to the third round.
“It’s difficult because I have not done anything else in my life," Gonzalez said. "I like to compete. Now, you have to take the time and fight to fix that with something that will refill that place.”
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