NÍCOLAS MASSÚ – NEW WAYS FOR THIEM

In an interview (here a report in BOLA AMARELA – in Portugues) – Thiem has announced to continue with Massú as a touring coach at least to the end of 2019.

Good news and maybe new, more promising ways  for Thiem.

Massú proved in Indian Wells (together with Duglas Cordero, a fitness coach from Miami, who coached Massú himself during his active time), they were able to add just what Thiem missed so far (maybe the main reason of many bitter losses so far).

Thiem has perfect basic skills from Bresnik. But Bresnik was never an active player and nobody can blame him for not being able to give Thiem things, only active player can really understand and teach). It’s mental and physical scenario for preparations and matches against every single opponent. They are different and the same skill-based tactic “Full ahead” cannot solve different tasks, when you play tough and experienced middle-class player in first round and one of greats in semifinals or finals.

Indian Wells was a masterpiece of the duo Massú+Cordero.

You can see how different is fitness preparation with Cordero HERE (more game- and aggression-oriented) , when compared with Reinprecht’s off-season fitness preparation (more endurance-oriented).

I think, Thiem needs both – Reinprecht in the off-season prep and Cordero on the tour.

Massú is simply by his character a perfect “addition” to Thiem, streaming positive energy in training (probably not so exhausting as usual Bresnik’s drills) and in the player’s box. And preparing tactics for every match. Saving energy in early rounds but still winning with confidence. Exploding on the finish line. And lots of other details.

This all made a perfect mix of Thiem’s long-term learned skills and general fitness and something like fire+water together – aggression, when needed, relax and confidence,  when needed.

The big win in IW (DOUBLE BIG – in a big hard court tournament and against in-form Federer, the most difficult obstacle, you can find in a final of a big tournament).

I’m eager to see, how it works on clay. I guess – we will see rather Thiem from Madrid 2018 than from Paris 2018). With better chances for some Masters on clay and of course the biggest highlight in Paris, but then still on grass and hard-court in USA (including US Open) and the final part of the season – hard court Masters in Asia/Europe).

The future is bright 🙂

Updated 1.04.2019, 20:33


MASSÚ IN THE FAMILY 🙂

Updated 1.04.2019, 20:42


THIEM BEFORE AND IN THE CLAY SEASON – with Masú, without Bresnik???

This is the English translation of Thiem’s interview for tennisnet.com (original in German you find HERE)

Dominic Thiem before the clay court season: “That would be the next step”

Dominic Thiem already cancelled the start of the Olympic Summer Games 2020 in Tokyo on Monday afternoon. Instead, Austria’s number one player prefers to compete at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.

“Tokyo is a beautiful city. But I’d still rather spend a week more in Kitzbühel. The decision wasn’t particularly difficult,” said Thiem.

Already in Rio de Janeiro 2016 Thiem was not at the start, although he would have been eligible for the tournament with his place in the world rankings. But the Olympics are not completely removed from Thiem’s career planning. Already now he is planning to compete at the following games in Paris 2024 – on clay, mind you. “I will definitely play them. Once in my career I want to do that. Then I’d be 31, which might be my last games,” Thiem explained.

For the first time this year in Kitzbühel at darkness will be played. In Night Sessions, fans can look forward to world-class tennis in more pleasant conditions. Thiem will be playing for the first time on Wednesday.

Thiem also confirmed his intention to continue working with his touring coach Nicolas Massu at least until the end of 2019. “The overall package fits. He is a nice guy, has an incredibly positive charisma like many South Americans. What distinguishes him the most is how he goes along in the matches,” Thiem enthused about the Chileans.

With Massu at his side, Thiem was the greatest career success to date at the Masters in Indian Wells a few weeks ago. “It was a huge week. From the bottom of Rio to the top – I’m really happy to have this first big title,” said the current world number five. “I rank it higher than the Paris finals, especially when you see Federer continue to play in Miami.

The Swiss had lost the final in Indian Wells to Thiem, but only two weeks later he won the 101st title of his career in Miami. Thiem, on the other hand, lost a second round against Hubert Hurkacz.

“The next step would be to continue playing just as well after such a tournament as Federer did in Miami. It all comes with experience,” Thiem gave the route. But he also pointed out that his performance in Miami had by no means been a bad one.

“The density in men’s tennis is higher than ever before in my active time. But I have to be there at every tournament. At the upcoming Masters, there will be a lot of thrills waiting – right from the first round,” Thiem warned.

Since his return from the USA, Thiem took a one-and-a-half-day break before starting training on sand. Since last weekend, the 25-year-old has been doing it outdoors in the southern city. Next Monday he will go to Monte Carlo, where the first Masters tournament of the year will take place on clay.

“Most of the players are there early. I can train well with them. Winning Madrid or Rome is my big goal. Maybe I can lay a good foundation in Monte Carlo,” Thiem said.

Thiem lacked this especially at the beginning of the season, when he was stopped by an infection at the Australian Open. In retrospect, the twelve-time ATP tournament winner admitted to making mistakes in his preparations for the season. He would have resumed training too early after the 2018 season had ended.

“Two or three years ago I ended the season really badly. That wasn’t the case in 2018,” Thiem said. He would have played “exhausting matches” in Paris-Bercy and at the season finale in London. “That’s what makes the difference. Next time I’ll take another half week break before I go into the preparation. It all comes with experience.”

Somewhat surprisingly, Thiem’s long-time coach Günter Bresnik was missed at the press conference on Monday. Thiem also completed the training session a few hours earlier with his father Wolfgang, while Bresnik trained with Ernests Gulbis a few meters away in the hall.

“In 15, 16 years we have spent more time together than with our respective families, there are ups and downs. That’s why it was clear to us that it’s not good for him to go to all the tournaments. It’s good that Massu is expanding Team Thiem, we’ll see everything else,” said the 2018 French Open finalist. “It’s all the same.”

Who will accompany him to Monte Carlo is not fixed yet. Only the coming days should bring a decision, Thiem explained.”

Updated 2.04.2019, 13:20


Interview with  Massú

(the German original you find HERE)

Neo-Coach speaks

Thiem-Coach Massú: “He can become number 1”

He is two-time Olympic champion from 2004 in Athens, former number 9 in ATP ranking and Chilean Davis Cup captain for five years. The new man at Dominic Thiem’s side is Nicolas Massú. The 38-year-old Chilean, who has been Touring Coach Thiems since the tournament in Buenos Aires for almost two months, is now the sole responsible coach of the Austrian, now fifth in the world rankings.

Massú is a popular hero in Chile, as he was the first Chilean athlete ever to win the first Olympic gold medals for his country – initially in doubles with Fernando Gonzalez and 24 hours later also in singles. He ended his career in August 2013 and took up the job as Davis Cup captain a week later. “I didn’t retire because I was tired of tennis, but because I had a lot of injuries. But this is my life, I dedicate my whole life to tennis,” said Massú in the run-up to the first appearance of his new protégé Dominic Thiem at the Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo.

Davis Cup surprise

Looking back, it’s almost strange that Thiem had to cancel the home Davis Cup against Chile at the beginning of February. This at least eased the South Americans’ 3-2 away win over the ÖTV team in Salzburg for a place at the lucrative Davis Cup final tournament in Madrid. “Yes, that’s unbelievable. It was an incredible year for me because we moved up to the Davis Cup World Group after eight years. I started with some of those players when they were 16 years old. Every country wants a Dominic Thiem on their team. But because he didn’t play, we had more chances and fought to the last ball,” Massú looked back.

Call from Bresnik

Even before the first ball was hit in Salzburg, Thiem coach Günter Bresnik had called. And so Massú should support Thiem very soon on the same side of the court. “I know Günter since he travelled with (Stefan) Koubek. Then I went to Buenos Aires and was alone in Rio. They have confidence in me and I will do everything I can to help him,” Massú promised.

That Thiem had now separated from Bresnik in sporting matters was not mentioned at the time. Massú doesn’t want to comment on this either, at least he had contact with Thiem’s long-term coach beforehand. “Dominic must know what is best for him. He must be happy. Fans and media always think only of the results. The most important thing is the good environment and that he is happy, then good results come easier,” believes Massú.

Massú is not only passionate about this sport, he also shows it as a coach on the Davis Cup bench as well as in Thiem’s player box. “I am now in another part of my life. Before, I was the one who ran and fought, now I feel the same way. I play every match with Dominic. If he wins, I’m happy, if he loses, I’m sad. We have a very good connection, he is also a great person,” the six-time tournament winner praised Thiem.

Now the most important person is Dominic, that’s not me or anyone else. He is now number 5 in the world and he is 25 years old. The tournament in Indian Wells gave him a lot of self-confidence.” Thiem also proved once more that he is not just a clay court specialist. “He can play very well on all surfaces.

New Fitness Coach

Massú does not want to make any major changes to Thiem. “He is 25 and a complete player. But sometimes very small changes make a big difference,” said the Chilean. An important component in the new “Team Thiem” is played not only by dedicated physio Alex Stober, but also by neo-fitness coach Duglas Cordero, whom Thiem shares with Fabio Fognini. Massú had brought the Cuban to Rio de Janeiro. “I told him we needed a fitness trainer as soon as possible and spoke,” said Massú.

Physical condition VERY improved

After consultation with Fognini’s Coach, an agreement was quickly reached. “There are a lot of players on the tour who share the fitness coach, that’s normal.” What Cordero and Thiem achieved in a short time, made Massú “very surprised”. “In a month, Dominic has HIGHLY improved his physical fitness.” Massú has already recognized how quickly Thiem can implement his goals. Bresnik also praised the French Open finalist 2018 for this again and again. “If you say something to him, he can implement it immediately.”

Almost 24 hours a day together

Two months ago, Massu and Thiem didn’t know each other, now they see each other very intensively. “This is like a marriage. It is not so easy when you do not know someone and then from one day to the other you suddenly spend almost 24 hours a day together. But Thiem is also a great person off the red dirt and there is also a good understanding with Thiems parents.

I had a similar game

His own input as an ex-player? “I understand how he plays, I had a similar game,” said Massú, who still hits the ball very well. “I’m 38, I feel the ball coming, I can practice with him. I still have a lot of energy and that’s my way, too”. Massú doesn’t mind that he will travel a lot again. “I was always like that. For me it would be strange if I always stayed at home.

The future number one?

And he believes, Thiem can still achieve a lo. “One day he can become number 1: he has the age, the talent and the power and he is number 5 in the world. And Masú will probably spend time in Austria more often in the future. Because Thiem doesn’t want to give up his “homebase” and train in his home country, as he also confirmed in Monte Carlo. After a commitment in Chile, Massú will come to Vienna for a few days before the tournament in Madrid.

Updated 17.04.2019. 07:54

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