Santiago 2023's Stars: Gustavo Fernández Dominates on Court

The Argentine wheelchair tennis player lived up to all the expectations generated by his successful track record and clinched two gold medals.

Sunday, Novembere 26th, 2023.- One of the world's great stars who arrived at the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games was the Argentine Gustavo Fernández, the undisputed master of wheelchair tennis at the continental level. 

It's no coincidence that the tennis player is the best in his discipline. He comes from a family of high-performance athletes. He is the son of Nancy Fiandrino and Gustavo Ismael, "El Lobito" Fernández, who was a prominent basketball player and is now a renowned coach; and his brother, Manuel Fernández, is also a basketball player, playing for the Trieste team in the Italian League and currently serving as the point guard for his country's national team. 

Born in Río Tercero, a city located in the center of the province of Córdoba, he arrived in Chile with the firm purpose of winning the two gold medals in his specialty, and he fulfilled it as anticipated: gold in doubles, partnering with Ezequiel Casco, and gold in singles. 

Currently ranked number 3 in the world (he reached number 1 in July 2017), Gustavo Fernández defeated Chilean Alexander Cataldo (13th in the world) in the final with a solid score of 6-2, 6-0, to be crowned the best of these Parapan American Games. 

His resume boasts titles in wheelchair tennis at Roland Garros (2016 and 2019), the Australian Open (2017 and 2019), and Wimbledon (2019). In addition, he now has seven gold medals at the Parapan American level, following the two won in Santiago 2023. 

At just a year and a half old, Fernández suffered a spinal cord infarction that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He dedicated himself to wheelchair tennis at the age of 6 and, at 12, began his professional career in the Argentine Tennis Association to play in the junior category. He has just completed 10 years with the same coach, Fernando San Martín. 

Written by Ernesto Bustos B; translated by Paulette Bertín / Santiago 2023 via Photosport
Photo by Felipe Zanca / Santiago 2023 via Photosport