Dominic Thiem’s coach Nicolas Massu recently discussed what makes their partnership click even though they come from different backgrounds. The Chilean also reflected on some of his ward’s finest achievements of 2020, reserving special praise for the Austrian's title-winning performance at the US Open.
Speaking with atptour.com after being nominated for the ATP Coach of the Year Award, Massu laid bare the reasons behind his successful time so far as part of Dominic Thiem's team. According to the Chilean, he and Thiem have great understanding and respect for each other, and they also communicate well.
"I think that we understand each other very well on both a personal and professional level," Massu said. "We have great communication, a lot of respect and a willingness to improve every day. I’m about to celebrate two years working with Dominic, and I think the results have been incredible. There is a lot of motivation from both parties. The way we work, we’re both trying to bring our 100% every day."
Nicolas Massu went on to assert that the distinctness in their cultural roots helps strengthen his bond with Dominic Thiem even further, given that that they have a common underlying objective despite their differences. Massu also highlighted the small age gap between the two as an important factor in their partnership.
"We’re from different cultures; I’m South American, he’s European," Massu continued. "But 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."
The way Dominic Thiem won his first Slam at the US Open is his biggest achievement of 2020: Nicolas Massu
The former Olympic gold medalist then talked about the aspects of Dominic Thiem’s season that had pleased him the most. Massu was thoroughly impressed by Thiem's consistent display of high-quality tennis throughout the stop-start season.
"Despite the few tournaments that could be played this year, there are two very important things for me about him in 2020," Massu said. "One: in the few tournaments that he played, he was very consistent and played with a high level of tennis. That’s a big step for a tennis player, to be consistent tournament after tournament."
Massu also spoke in glowing terms about Dominic Thiem’s performances at the Australian Open, US Open and the ATP Finals. The Chilean considers his pupil’s maiden Grand Slam win at the US Open their ‘biggest achievement of 2020’.
"And obviously, the three most important tournaments were the final of the Australian Open, winning the US Open, and the final of ATP Finals,” Massu continued. "But of course, winning the US Open, winning his first Grand Slam, and the way that he did it – I think that’s the biggest achievement of 2020. And after that, the two big finals."Published 17 Dec 2020, 16:20 IST