We love to have interviews in the channel Break Point, although it is not easy to bring as many guests as we would like. This time, taking advantage of the fact that the Tokyo 2020 OlympicsWe thought it was a good time to talk to a two-time Olympic champion. A person who 17 years ago was champion of the singles and doubles draw, making history for Chile forever. We refer, of course, to Nicolas Massú, former world No. 9 and current coach of Dominic Thiem, in addition to being a Davis Cup captain. With him we went back to the past to understand the value of representing your country in the largest sporting event that exists.
The olympic experience
“They are the most important memories of my sports career, it was incredible what happened. As a child I remember watching the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, the whole world of sports gathered there, then when I was able to go to Sydney 2000 and be flagged it was a unique moment. In Athens 2004 it was already different, I was fighting for the top 10 and I already knew what it was to win tournaments, I had more experience and I knew what it was to beat the best. The conditions were really complicated, but the days went by, we were gaining confidence, in addition to the momentum that represented Chile meant, that always encouraged me. That was a dream come true, we were able to represent Chile in the best way, leaving there with two medals was crazy. To this day I am still the only man who has won two gold medals in the same Olympic Games, I always dreamed of leaving my mark in this sport and, luckily, I succeeded ”.
“For my country it was like delivering a message that we can get things done. There in South America everything is a little more difficult, we are far from everything, but with 17 years we looked to the side and we saw Marcelo Ríos. We knew it was possible, that in the morning we could go to the Olympics and do something important. The nice part of sport is that you never know what can happen, that’s why you always have to chase your dreams and give 100% every day. Many times you are presented with an opportunity like this and you let it pass by not being prepared. In my case, I went through a lot of trouble because of the pressure issue and, at the end of the week, because of the physical and mental issues, but I worked my whole life to get there, so I was not afraid and I did not settle ”.
“He continues to advance with his recovery, every day we are in contact and also with the doctors. He was unlucky, he was playing well in Mallorca, motivated, we saw him happy on the court … but sometimes things happen that you don’t expect. Now it’s time to go very calmly, respecting the deadlines, the wrist is an area that has to be perfect to return to competition, whenever it is, but do it 100% and without the risk of becoming chronic. There are still several weeks to know when exactly he will be able to return ”.
Expectations, pressure and mental crisis
“All athletes go through situations like this, whether they are shorter or longer, at an earlier or later age. I remember months ago that everyone pointed to him thinking that he would be the next No. 1. Before winning the US Open, the question was when was he going to win his first Grand Slam. That’s the sport, they are always asking you about things that come after, when you get top10 they ask you when you will be top5. Athletes have to adapt to these pressures, which are normal, especially at these levels. The good moments should be taken with calm, with the same calm that the bad moments, that is the key, to accept the processes. I know perfectly all that he works, I know what a good person he is and I know that everything he won is because he deserves it, so I am sure that he still has many great things to live for ”.
The battle for the GOAT
“Each has their own story, all three have achieved incredible things and also have different records. I put them on the same level, talking about the three of them is talking about an example of everything, each one with their own personality. That they continue to win at this age helps us others to understand what the path is, to understand that we still have to keep working and training daily to reach them. They make the level of tennis better every year, we are living a spectacular generation, they are the three greatest in history. I’ve always said it, I prefer that they always be in the tournaments that Dominic wins, because that will mean that he is at a great level. When he is well I know he can beat anyone, he is still young but he already has a lot of experience, I am confident that the next 5-6 years can be the best. It is from difficult moments that one becomes strong ”.