Coach Nicolas Massu Details What Makes His Partnership with Dominic Thiem a Success

Published 12/17/2020, 11:27 PM EST
Coach Nicolas Massu, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Wolfgang Thiem talk during a training session with Dominic Thiem of Austria and Dennis Novak of Austria on day five of the Erste Bank Open 500 at Wiener Stadthalle on October 25, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Andrea Kareth /SEPA.Media /Getty Images)


Tennis might be an individual sport, but without a coach, the player might feel handicapped. ATP Tour shortlisted five coaches who helped their players perform at their highest level in 2020. Nicolas Massu, coach of Dominic Thiem, is amongst those who have been nominated for Coach of the Year Award. In an interview, the former Chilean tennis player spoke about his player-coach personal and professional relationship with Thiem.

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After moving on from his long-time coach Gunter Bresnik, the Austrian joined hands with Massu in 2019. What followed was the rise of the leader of the next-generation players. Starting from winning their first tournament together at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters, the 27 years-old has never looked back. He has made two Grand Slam finals – 2019 French Open and 2020 Australian Open – and two back-to-back ATP Finals appearances in two years.

Dominic’s biggest win came at the 2020 US Open, where he lifted his maiden Grand Slam trophy. In addition to the major title, he also gained his highest-ranking of World No. 3. Hence, a lot of credit goes to Massu, who has undeniably guided the Austrian’s force in the right direction.

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“Dominic Thiem and I understand each other very well”: Massu

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates with the championship trophy after winning in a tie-breaker during his Men’s Singles final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Fourteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Even though it is only Thiem who competes on the court, his coach is as involved as the Austrian is in every match. Their objectives and their vision are perfectly aligned, and the rest is history.

“I think that we understand each other very well on both a personal and professional level. We have great communication, a lot of respect, and a willingness to improve every day,” Nicolas said.

The retired Chilean player is also the winner of two Olympic Gold medals. Following in his footsteps, Dominic has claimed he will participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Considering he continues his 2020 form with him, nothing seems out of reach for the Austrian.

His Chilean coach said, “The way we work, we’re both trying to bring our 100% every day.”

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“Dominic and I have different personalities”: Nicolas

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Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville

Coming from European and Southern backgrounds, Thiem and Massu are growing exponentially on the tennis court. How has the difference in cultures affected them? “I think that strengthens us, because we have different personalities but share the same passion for being our best every day. We don’t have a big age difference either, and that helps us have a great energy on and off the tennis court… On a personal level, I think we’re getting to know each other more and building up trust every day,” Massu concluded.

The 2021 Australian Open participation is still in doubt for the duo. However, they will look to make the most of every tournament they take part in 2021.

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Purav Joshi

814 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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