“Need to Improve on Grass”: Coach Reveals Major Shortcomings in Dominic Thiem’s Game

Published 12/25/2020, 12:00 PM EST
Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Toby Melville

Former Chilean tennis-star-turned-coach Nicholas Massu has opened up on his association with Dominic Thiem.


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Under the watchful eyes of Massu, a two-time Olympic gold medallist himself, the Austrian has shown phenomenal improvement, winning the prestigious Indian Wells Masters in 2019 and making three Grand Slam finals after Roland-Garros in 2018.

On Nicholas Massu’s watch, Dominic Thiem made three Grand Slam finals


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However, the proverbial icing on the cake this year after Thiem lifted his maiden Grand Slam trophy at the US Open.

In an interview to tennis portal ITF, Massu said one of the focus areas when he took over as coach was to improve Thiem’s hard court play.


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And if the title-winning campaign at the US Open is any indication, Thiem has lifted his hard court game by leaps and bounds.

The Austrian also made the final of the ATP Finals in London this year before going down to Russian giant Daniil Medvedev.

Thiem’s grass court game still not up to scratch, says coach Massu

Massu said that while Thiem’s game makes him a handful on clay courts as well as concrete surfaces, his grass court play is still a work in progress.

“One of the goals was to improve his hard court results and nowadays I don’t know if he has better results on clay or hard.

He has a great level on both surfaces – but we need to improve on grass,” Massu said.

Thiem’s track record at Wimbledon stands to testify to the Chilean’s assessment of the Austrian’s grass court game.

Thiem’s best performance at the All-England Club is reaching the fourth round in 2017.

Coach believes Thiem has more Grand Slams in him

However, Massu believes that his pupil can win more Grand Slams with the kind of hard work he has been putting in at practice.

Thiem’s win at the Flushing Meadows has also spawned belief that he is the one to challenge, if not shake, the ‘Big Three’ monopoly on Grand Slams.


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The ‘Big Three’ is the combined moniker for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They share 47 Major titles between themselves, making them the formidable troika of men’s tennis.


“Everything is So Close”: Dominic Thiem Predicts Tough Battles For World No.1 Spot

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While Thiem has a head-to-head lead over Federer, he also has decent track records against Nadal and Djokovic.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

823 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.