Nicolás Massú can congratulate himself lately, feel that it was he who got Dominic Thiem evolve into a much more complete player in virtually every facet of the game. With tennis completely stopped beyond exhibitions due to the pandemic situation of the Covid-19Nico is being seen by several South American programs in which he shows himself as someone open to debating many issues related to his ward, his days as a player and great moments throughout his professional career.
The last one was ESPN Nexo, where he dropped several pearls about personalities like Thiem himself, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. This was the highlight that came out of the Chilean’s mouth:
– The recipe for Thiem to beat Federer: “They have played many times before he coached him. They know each other, they train many times together. Last year, luckily, Dominic was able to play well against him. He played 3 times and the 3 beat him, they were three super-hard and super-worked wins, games very closed that Roger could have won perfectly. They know each other and we know what to do, I try to analyze what happened in the previous matches, I simply tell him that he play his game.
I always say that, for any young player, playing against three world monsters is impressive; what they have delivered is something unique. I am happy, for example, to have played against Federer. I take two years off him, and in the youth stage Roger was so good that he went up two years to play with us; I was 18, he was 16 and he played against us and was on par. It was an outstanding one. Being able to see a player from 14, 15 and see that he is still there is an example for everyone, not only in sports, but in life. “
– On the figure of Federer: “It is impressive how complete it is, that is why it is so difficult to beat him. It has many variations and it surprises you all the time, it adapts to all circumstances; if something he has to do, he does it. It makes you think a lot, that constantly you His head is working to be able to break that situation. He plays on all surfaces, he makes everything easy, the ball runs in an impressive way, in difficult moments he makes it easy … for some reason he is the crack that is and is where He is 38 years old.
I beat him once, on Long Island, in the 2002 final. The other time, I won’t even tell you (laughs). I had the chance to play with him five times, he beat me four and I beat him once. In 2006 I played three times against him: at Indian Wells, Madrid, Roland Garros. They were important tournaments and I was able to compete with him, I had the experience of playing against him several times, so well, overall. ”
– About Nadal: “I always say it, I really have a spectacular impression of Rafa Nadal. I saw him when he started on the circuit when he was 15 or 16 years old and it is the best mentality I have ever seen. He has a positivism, a way of working … he is an example for children and for others. I would tell you that it is for sure the best mentality I have seen in tennis and perhaps in sports. If there is someone who is dedicated to sports and wants to be a champion, they have to focus on Rafa Nadal. I have seen him up close and anyone who has seen him compete knows that he is outstanding. “
– About the Olympic medal in Athens 2004: “It is my turn many times, in motivational talks I do or in interviews, to watch the videos and bring up the memories of that time. I have seen many times situations from my career that I like to remember, I even show it to the boys to tell them how I was depending on what situations were unforgettable moments, Athens was the best thing I did in my career, the two most important weeks of my career without a doubt.
When you are a boy you dream of doing something big. I wanted to be in the story of what I was doing, and I was able to do it that way. After that I got number 9 in the world and yes, I had the motivation to go up to 8 or so. I wanted to get to the top-5, because it is difficult to be in such a competitive sport and settle. When you settle, it’s because you know something is up. The day that a defeat doesn’t hurt or doesn’t matter to you, it’s because something happens to you. “