Former Australian Open runner-up Fernando González believes he could have been a lot more successful in his career if one among Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray had not been playing at the same time as him.
During a recent interview with Santo Tomas, the former World No. 5 pointed out that his playing years coincided with some of the best in the game. At the same time, Gonzalez stressed that it was a rewarding experience to have played against the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I was in the most difficult generation in history,” Gonzalez said. “If Nadal, Federer or Murray had not existed, maybe I would have more prizes and cups, but I feel that it was an experience that enriched me a lot.”
How Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dented Fernando Gonzalez's chances of winning big titles
Fernando Gonzalez ended his career with a 1-12 head-to-head record against Roger Federer and a 3-7 record against Rafael Nadal.
The Chilean’s only win against Roger Federer came in the round-robin stage of the 2007 Tennis Masters Cup (now ATP Finals). Interestingly, that was the only match Gonzalez won in the tournament, while it was Federer’s only loss; the Swiss went on to win the title.
Seven of Gonzalez’s 12 losses against Roger Federer came at the quarterfinal stages or later. The Chilean lost to the Swiss legend twice in the semis - at the 2006 editions of the Monte Carlo Masters and the Rogers Cup.
Roger Federer got the better of Fernando Gonzalez in three finals in the space of one year. After defeating the Chilean in the 2006 Madrid Open final, Federer repeated his act in the following year’s Australian Open and Basel Open.
The 2007 Australian Open was the only time that Gonzalez made it to the final of a Grand Slam event.
Against Rafael Nadal, six of Gonzalez’s seven losses came at the quarterfinal stage or later. The only time the Chilean got the better of Nadal that deep in a tournament was at the 2007 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Gonzalez in the semis of the 2009 Rome Masters. The Spaniard also played the 40-year-old twice in a final, with one coming at the 2007 Rome Masters and the other at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Fernando Gonzalez also mentioned Andy Murray, but he played him only thrice in his career. Moreover, the Brit's peak came after Gonzalez began declining.
Nevertheless, the Chilean beat Murray twice, with both of the victories coming at the quarterfinal stage (2005 Basel Open and 2009 French Open).Published 16 Dec 2020, 16:08 IST