Nicolas Massu spoke about how being a former player helps him in coaching Dominic Thiem, and approaching the key matches against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The Chilean said: "It's not definitely a disadvantage that I know it feels to return Roger's serve or Rafa's backhand.
You need to know how to use this information. Every player plays in a different way, every personality is different and every match is different. That's why I can only speak from my experience, how it was like for me in some situations back in the day.
As a coach, you have to see and understand how your player plays and find tactics." Recalling when Thiem asked him to become his coach, Massu said: "I did not hesitate for a second because I saw it as an opportunity and a challenge.
Dominic is a player with a big future. And I knew he was a good person too, which is the key to a player-coach relationship." What makes a good coach? "We could speak about it for a long time. The key is to have an idea of how you would like the player's game to be.
I had good coaches too who taught me a lot. Add it to the experience I gained on Tour. But it doesn't help if you do not manage to send your ideas." Asked what he is working on with Thiem the most, Massu concluded: "We work, depending on the part of the season, on all the aspects.
At the beginning, we spoke a lot. How Dominic sees his game, how I see it. So we thought about some possible changes. Even the little changes can make a difference." Massu has left for Madrid where the Davis Cup Finals are to be played next week. Thiem is without his coach for the rest of the ATP Finals.