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Safin revealed a tasty anecdote with González: “A lot of ego and a huge watch”

One of the most anticipated sports books of the year is about to be released. ‘Fernando González, the best right in history’ will have its official launch in October and its author, the journalist Gonzalo Querol, spoke exclusively with Ace and advanced several passages of the biography of the ‘Bomber of the Queen’.

“It’s almost six years of work, there are more than 70 interviewees. I consider myself a fan of tennis and, above all, of ‘Feña’, so in 2016 I began to write it, motivated because there hadn’t been any book about it, until now”, says the reporter. The writing also has the prologue of Nicholas Massu.

For Querol, one of the best anecdotes is that of Marat Safeformer world number one Russian tennis player, who won the Australian Open and US Open. The Muscovite does not forget the Chilean and declassified a great moment.

Safin’s memories of González

“I met him in 1994, at the Les Petit As tournament, we faced each other in the semifinals and he easily beat me. He seemed like a talented boy, with an incredible forehand, but with a lot of ego. He was with a huge clock that bothered him to play, I suppose it was an important gift, but he was very funny. Then we coincided in other tournaments, like the Orange Bowl. In professionals we played several times, I don’t know how many, but I think he won more. During his professional career he improved his game a lot. In the beginning he was very talented, but he had problems with his backhand and he didn’t win many matches. With the change of coach (Horacio de la Peña) he did much better. Over the years he became a very serious player. As a person, Fernando is a good person with a very good heart”.

– In addition to the anecdotes, what is the other added value of the book?

– I found out things that surprised me. For example, until recently there was still the question of whether ‘Feña’ had been number one in the junior world or not. Some told me yes, others no. Not even Fernando himself knew. “I would lie to you,” he told me when I asked him. I finally sent several emails to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and they confirmed it. And there are many stories that, for one, as a tennis fan, are special. It struck me that everyone spoke well of him, from Safin, Edberg, Del Potro, Ferrero… to Soderling, with whom one might think he had some rivalry. There are also the testimonies of Kiefer and Schüttler, the German couple who lost to González and Massú in the final in Athens. They tell how hard it was for them to have lost in that match having four set points and how they value that silver medal today. The other thing that the book also has is that all of Fernando’s most memorable games are told from his perspective, as well as from the perspective of the rival.

– Why do you think that, being González one of the most important athletes in our history, nobody had written about him yet?

– I was wondering the same thing (laughs). We lack sports literature. When I went to Argentina, I was very struck by the fact that many Boca or River players there had books. Of course, for their teams they are important, but ‘Feña’ is relevant worldwide, for what he did. This is a kind of tribute to his career. I always read that many people remember with nostalgia when they woke up at five in the morning to see him play in the Davis Cup or in a Grand Slam, and I am part of them. The book begins with a phrase from Fernando’s first coach at the age of five, and ends with him recounting his last game as a professional at the Miami Masters in 2012. His entire career is there.

– Will there be any presales before the official release in October?

– In the next few days it will be the presale. For this, people must be attentive to the Instagram account @librofergonzalez and also to that of @edesdelalumbre. In that instance it will be at a cheaper value than in its official launch. Then, in October, we will present the book with a press conference which, of course, will be attended by Fernando González.

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