Posted February 09, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Fernando Gonzalez of Chile is set to retire after the Masters tournament next month in Florida. The 31-year-old Gonzalez, who reached No. 5 in the ATP rankings, made the announcement at an emotional news conference on Thursday. He said he no longer had the energy to play at the top level after having been bothered by back, knee and hip injuries for several years. Gonzalez won 11 ATP events and the three Olympic medals - gold, silver and bronze. He reached the final of the 2007 Australian Open, losing in straight sets to Roger Fedrerer. He was also a semifinalist at the 2009 French Open and reached the quarterfinals twice in the U.S. Open and once at Wimbledon. Gonzalez, who returned last year after being out for eight months following hip surgery, said he had gone through some ''tough times'' in recent months. ''I realized that I didn't have the energy that I needed, nor am I prepared to do all I need to in order to be where I want to be,'' Gonzalez said. ''Given the respect tennis deserves, I have decided to step aside. Tennis has given me some incredible experiences, and I've met many admirable, wonderful people.'' Jose Hinzpeter, president of the Chilean tennis federation, was in shock at the decision. ''We thought we'd be able to count on him for a bit more,'' Hinzpeter said.
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