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Fernando Gonzalez Blogs From Queen's Club

Ramon Delgado and I after eating© ATPRamon Delgado and I after eating

Friday, June 16, 2006   
Today was obviously not a very good day for me. As you might know I lost my quarterfinal match against Andy Roddick. I dropped serve once in each set to lose 4-6, 3-6. Since I played the last match on center court I could wake up late, around 10am. At 11:30am I was at the club to warm up and do my usual routine before my matches. Unfortunately I didn’t play my best but now I turn my attention to Wimbledon, a tournament which I enjoy playing.

Now that I’m out of the tournament I will take a few days off to rest and walk around London. There are lots of nice places to go around here so I think that I’ll have plenty of attractions to visit during my two days off. Also, there are many South Americans in the tournament. We like to hang out together. In the picture you can see Ramon Delgado and I after having a good meal at the Queen’s Club.

As a true Chilean I’m also following the World Cup. Of course, I would be more interested in this year’s World Cup if Chile was playing, but sadly we did not qualify this time. I watched Argentina play today and was impressed how well they did. I could also watch some of the match between the Netherlands and Ivory Coast. I want a South American team to win the World Cup title. However, I have to say that I am pulling for Brasil because I love the way they play. It’s going to be hard for them to win because they are under a lot of pressure, but I truly hope that they can play better than they did against Croatia.

I forgot to mention that I played doubles with Thomas Johansson this week. Even though we lost in the first round, it was good to play one more match on grass.

Believe it or not, I have a ticket to watch the final of the World Cup! The bad thing is that the World Cup final is in the same day as the Wimbledon final. Thus I am not quite sure if I want to be able to go the World Cup final! I would prefer still be playing at Wimbledon

Next week I have an exhibition match to play. My new coach (Larry Stefanki) and physio arrive in London on Monday so I believe that next week will be good to prepare well for Wimbledon.

Oh, for those who want to know, my dog’s name is Rocky. As I said before, he is only two months old and is being taken care of by my sister who is a veterinarian.

I hope you guys are enjoying reading my blog. I see you tomorrow!



Wednesday, June 14, 2006  
My day started at 9am when I woke up to the alarm on my cell phone. I bring my cell phone everywhere with me and I can't be away from it for more than five minutes. The phone is more than just something to talk on. I'll use it to play games and also I send a receive a lot of text messages.

Today I sent a text message to my little sister to see how my two-month old Boxer is doing. My parents' dogs recently had puppies and I took one. The puppy has just had some injections, so I wanted to check that he was doing okay.

Anyway, the first thing I did when I woke up was to call for breakfast in the room. I just had some orange juice and toast with jam. (Later, after practice I had something more to eat - a sandwich and a few strawberries. You saw me getting some strawberries in yesterday's photos. I'm eating a lot of strawberries over here!)

The second thing I did was get online to read my favorite newspaper in Chile, La Tercera. I try to read a little bit of everything, not just the sports pages. One story I was reading was about a big problem with university students and the government. The students are trying to reduce the cost of going to university.

I practiced from 10.30-11 with Falla, a left-handed Colombian. Playing Philippoussis, I tried to find a big-server to practice against but it's not easy to find practice partners who serve as big as Philippoussis. He still has one of the best serves in the world, especially on grass. He forces you to make good returns. Today he missed some first serves and I won many of the points on his second serve.

This week I do not have my new coach Larry Stefanki working with me. We arranged for him to be with me 20 weeks a year because I don't feel I need someone to travel with me full time. Some of you may be interested to know how a player goes about hiring a new coach. In the past I can't remember speaking much with Larry on tour but we obviously knew of each other. He had many years on the tour with good players like Rios, McEnroe, Kafelnikov and Henman and most important was that he got good results with them.

I was in Chile and I called Larry at his home in San Diego. I called to ask if he would be interested in working with me and we had a good conversation right from the beginning. We probably spoke for 20 or 30 minutes and he said that he hadn't traveled on the tour for a while but that he'd take a couple of days to think about my offer and then get back to me. So he rang back in two or three days and said he would take the job.

We practiced together for the first time at the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf and he worked with me there and at the French Open. He'll joining me next week and staying through Wimbledon and then we'll also have the US hard court swing together during the summer. The arrangement suits me better than having a full time coach. Larry will help me improve some things, especially my net game... I need to go forward.

Que estén bien!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006   
We’re lucky to have wireless internet in the locker room at Queen’s so while I was waiting for my match today I did a little web surfing. I’m setting a personal record this week. Yesterday I spent four hours online and the day before it was six. It’s a really good week for me with the internet!

I use Messenger a lot. I talk to my friends and write on my web site. Not every day, but a lot. I love the Messenger, I love it. I’m online all the time. I don’t use Skype. I have Telefonica as a sponsor!

As you can imagine a lot of my friends are talking about the World Cup. This year unfortunately I don’t have my country competing. But I remember when Chile was in the World Cup all the country was waiting for the match, making barbecues with friends and then watching the game.

I really like the atmosphere here in England at the moment. I have a lot of pride in my country and here you see a lot of flags on the houses. It’s great to see the people’s passion for their country.

Before today’s match I strung four racquets but I only used one even though we played 26 games. (I defeated Antony Dupuis 7-6, 7-6.) Normally I will change racquets after each set but today I just liked how it was feeling so I didn’t change.

One change I make for grass is that I use half gut in my strings because it gives you a little more power and I can go up in tension. Normally I play with synthetic strings.

I haven’t been reading any of the famous British tabloid newspapers since I have been here. I normally will read the Chilean newspapers online.

I also haven’t yet been for a ride on the London tube this year, but I have used the Metro in the past. It’s unbelievable. You have 10 or 12 lines to go anywhere you want. It’s the fastest way because the traffic is terrible here. I’m sure I’ll use the Metro again at some point during my time in London.

Que estén bien!

Monday, June 12, 2006  
Hi everyone,

I'll be writing the ATP blog from Queen's this week.

I arrived in London on Thursday after taking the train from Paris. On Friday, my first full day here, I tried to practice for many hours on the grass because it's very tough to adapt from clay. I picked up my grass court shoes while I was in Paris so I was ready to start when I got here.

My coach and physical trainer will arrive next week, the week before Wimbledon, so this week I am here with my friend William Capdeville, who is the brother of my Davis Cup teammate Paul Capdeville. We have tried to go out and see a few of the sights. The other day we went to Trafalgar Square. I always try to go out and do something different.

I am staying at Chelsea Village all the way through Wimbledon, and I like the area because you have everything around. I also think London is a very interesting city, a very cosmopolitan city with people from everywhere in the world. I know a few restaurants near the hotel from being here in past years but I try to go to different places to eat.

I played here last year. I had a bye in the first round and then lost to Karlovic in my first match. This year I played Davis Cup on grass after Miami, so I have 10 days of grass already this year, which is good. But the first days on grass are very tough because it is a tough surface for us. You have to play as much as you can and you only have two weeks before Wimbledon starts. So I've been trying to practice a lot and I've hit with guys including Ramon Delgado, Agassi the other day and Falla.

I didn't do anything today, just got a little treatment on my leg. It's a little tight, but it's okay. I had breakfast in my room, spent a little time on the internet and then came on site. We couldn't practice so I went back to the hotel and slept a little bit and then a little bit more internet.

Talk to you tomorrow.


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