Fernando Meligeni : biography
Fernando Ariel Meligeni (born April 12, 1971), nicknamed Fininho (Portuguese for little thin) is a former professional tennis player from Brazil. He won 3 singles titles and reached the semi-finals of the 1999 French Open.
As a junior, he won the traditional Orange Bowl in 1989, finishing No. 3 in the world junior rankings in the same year.
Meligeni turned professional in 1990, opting for the Brazilian nationality.
He won his first ATP Tour singles title in 1995, at the Swedish Open in Båstad, Sweden. In 1996, Meligeni won his second ATP Tour singles title in Pinehurst, North Carolina, defeating veteran Swede Mats Wilander in the final.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia he reached the semi finals, where he was defeated by Spain’s Sergi Bruguera. In the Bronze medal play-off’s, he lost to Leander Paes of India.
In 1998, Meligeni won his third and last ATP Tour singles title in Prague, Czech Republic, beating then World No. 6 Yevgeny Kafelnikov from Russia on the way.
Meligeni reached his peak in the following year, with a strong performance at the 1999 French Open in Paris, France. He defeated seeds No. 3 Patrick Rafter, from Australia, No. 14 Félix Mantilla, from Spain, and No. 6 Àlex Corretja, also from Spain, only to fall in the semi-finals to Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev. This was his best Grand Slam singles result and led him to a career-high ranking of World No. 25.
He was also a member of the Brazilian Davis Cup team, with an overall record of 13–16.
In addition to his three singles titles, Meligeni also won 7 doubles titles in the ATP Tour, most of them partnering countryman Gustavo Kuerten.
Meligeni retired from professional tennis in 2003, playing his last match against Marcelo Ríos from Chile in the final of the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which he won in three sets.
Two years later, he was nominated captain of the Brazilian Davis Cup team, but resigned in January 2007 due to political differences with the Brazilian Tennis Confederation. During his period as a captain, he collected a 5–1 W/L record in ties. Despite the positive record, his popularity as a captain among the local press and fans wasn’t always high, due to the easy opposition faced by the Brazilian team in the Americas Group; the controversial decisions he took when selecting the players to represent the squad, insisting in players that were out of shape, like Flávio Saretta and Gustavo Kuerten, and sidelining the then best-ranked Brazilians in the ATP, Marcos Daniel and Thiago Alves; the lack of receptiveness to criticism; and reported difficulty to control the harmony between the players.
Off the court, Meligeni has also been a host for TV show MTV Sports aired by MTV Brazil in the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade), as well as having guest appearances in radio shows and as a commentator for tennis matches.
- Bronze medal final
|4th place||1996||USA}} Atlanta||Hard||IND}} Leander Paes||6–3, 2–6, 4–6|
Meligeni was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but moved with his family to São Paulo, Brazil, when he was four years old.