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Gonzalez To Retire Following Miami

Gonzalez© Diario La CuartaFormer World No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez announces his retirement plans.

Former World No. 5 Fernando Gonzalez has announced that he will retire from professional tennis following the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami next month.

“I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to end my career at Miami,” the 31-year-old Chilean shared in a press conference Thursday. “It's 100 per cent personal. I realised I don't have the energy to be where I want to be.”

Gonzalez has been hampered by a knee injury over the past year, and has played just five tour-level events after undergoing surgery on his right hip in October 2010. He made his first tour-level appearance since the US Open last week at his home country tournament in Vina del Mar falling in the second round.

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“I always said I would play until 30 and in the last months I didn't stop thinking about it and the final decision was made three weeks ago,” he elaborated. “It was difficult to play in Vina, but the decision was already taken.

“If I retired at Vina it would have been too emotional. Miami means a lot for me and there are a lot of Chilean people over there. I also want to say goodbye to my friends on the tour.”

In addition to Miami, Gonzalez will play two more ATP World Tour events: the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo and the Copa Claro in Buenos Aires.

“I want to have a new start,” he said. “I'll still be working for tennis, it’s my passion. I’ll take some time to think what I will do.”

Gonzalez, a winner of 11 ATP World Tour titles, attained a career-high No. 5 ranking by reaching the Australian Open final in 2007, posting wins over Lleyton Hewitt and Rafael Nadal before falling to Roger Federer.

He enjoyed success on the Olympic stage, winning the bronze medal in singles and gold in doubles with Nicolas Massu at the 2004 Athens Games, and capturing the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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