Dominic Thiem has been with coach Nicolas Massu since 2019. That partnership has been successful as he won his first Masters 1000 tournament and, more importantly, he won his first Grand Slam at US Open 2020. Thiem’s father, Wolfgang Thiem, recently spoke about having Massu in the Thiem’s coaching half and what he brings to the table.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Wolfgang Thiem pointed out that Massu has played Thiem’s rivals like Rafael Nadal thus he knows how these players would think and perform.
“Nico knows what a high-level player needs. For example, Massu played against Nadal, he “feels” how Nadal plays, he “feels” the balls, which is incredibly valuable. I don’t have this information.”
Wolfgang Thiem explains Dominic Thiem’s coaching team
Further, Wolfgang helps his son and is a part of his coaching team. When Thiem returns home, his father helps him and during the season Massu takes the front seat.
“We work as a team. When Dominic is back home, I’m in charge of the method. We practice the shots and take care of adjusting from hard to clay or the other way around. And sometimes, during tournaments, we’re all together.”
Why did Thiem leave his long time coach Günter Bresnik?
Wolfgang also pointed out a reason to bring in Massu for Thiem. Thiem’s first coach was Günter Bresnik, who coached him for 17 years. Wolfgang was searching for a technical coach who had experience as a player as well.
“But maybe it would have been better, to change sooner, when Dominic was twenty, to give him a coach who used to be a really good player, like Denis Shapovalov with Mikhail Youzhny. A technical coach and a coach who has been on tour work very differently. This kind of coach can get you to the next level.”
Massu was nominated for this year’s ATP Coach of the year. Although he didn’t win, he and Thiem have had a great journey together and will try in 2021 to bring in more success.