Player-turned-coach Nicholas Massu has spilled the beans on his wonderful chemistry with Dominic Thiem, which translated to the Austrian winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open this year.
In an interview to a Spanish portal, the Chilean, who turned to full-time coaching after bidding adieu to tennis in 2013, revealed that he always gives Thiem the impression that he is playing the game alongside him.
He said that it is this vibe that he is focused on every point as much as Thiem which gives the Austrian belief in his game and eventually translates into match-winning performances.
“I try to show Dominic all the time that I am playing the game with him. I’m not running with him but I’m playing the game with him. I’m totally focussed on each point. I’m very passionate,” Massu said.
He said that he doesn’t feel the need to offer too many words of advice to the Austrian as he is highly motivated and takes his training sessions dead seriously.
“When you connect with a boy like Dominic who has the same feeling and trains with great intensity…you don’t have to say anything because he is giving his best version,” the double Olympic gold medalist said.
Massu said he is mindful of the fact that he is working with a supremely talented player and only has to teach him the finer nuances of the game to help him shine on the international stage.
“There aren’t (too) many guys on the track who train with the intensity like his every day.
And that’s why, in addition to his talent, in addition to his smart game, in addition to his shots and all this kind of thing, everyone knows his potential,” the Chilean said.
He also coached Thiem to three Grand Slam finals of which he won his first at the Flushing Meadows this year.
Thiem made the final of the Australian Open this year but lost to Serbian Novak Djokovic.
(All quotes have been translated)