Nicolás Massú

Last updated

Nicolás Massú
Nicolas Massu 2007 Australian Open R1.jpg
Massú at 2007 Australian Open
Country (sports)Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
Residence Viña del Mar
Born (1979-10-10) October 10, 1979 (age 39)
Viña del Mar
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro1997
Retired27 September 2013 [1]
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$4,286,614
Career record257–233 (ATP Tour and Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles6
Highest rankingNo. 9 (September 13, 2004)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (2005)
French Open 3R (2004, 2006)
Wimbledon 3R (2001)
US Open 4R (2005)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games W (2004)
Career record81–98 (ATP Tour and Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 31 (July 25, 2005)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (2008)
French Open SF (2005)
Wimbledon 2R (2005)
US Open QF (2004)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games W (2004)
Team competitions
Davis Cup QF (2006, 2010)

Nicolás Alejandro Massú Fried (Spanish pronunciation:  [nikoˈlaz maˈsu] ; [lower-alpha 1] born October 10, 1979), nicknamed El Vampiro (Spanish: "the vampire"), is a Chilean former tennis player, a former World No. 9 in singles, and a winner of two Olympic gold medals. He is the only male player to have won both the singles and doubles gold medals during the same games in modern Olympic tennis (since 1988), [2] the only two gold medals Chile has won at the Olympics. Massú also reached the final of the 2003 Madrid Masters and won six singles titles.


Tennis career

Early years

Massú is Jewish, [3] [4] as is his mother, Sonia Fried. [3] [5] His father, Manuel Massú, is of Palestinian [6] [7] ancestry. He has four brothers, Stefano, Jorge, Geza, and Yuri. He was born in a family of Israeli and Hungarian-Jewish descent. His grandfather Ladislao Fried Klein was Jewish and was born in Hungary, and survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary by hiding, as his parents did not survive. [8] His grandmother Veronika nee Vegvari was a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in Auschwitz-Birkenau. [8] He was introduced to tennis at age five by his grandfather, Ladislao Fried. From age 12, he was trained at the Valle Dorado tennis academy, near Villa Alemana, by Leonardo Zuleta, with whom he perfected his forehand and double-handed backhand. He later trained at the Nick Bollettieri Academy, in Florida in the United States, alongside Marcelo Ríos, and later at the High Performance Center in Barcelona, Spain.


Massú became a professional tennis player in 1997. That year, he won the prestigious juniors year-end Orange Bowl tournament. [9] He also claimed the boys doubles competitions at Wimbledon (with Peru's Luis Horna) [10] and the US Open (with countryman Fernando González), and was junior doubles world champion in 1997 (and No. 5 in singles).

ATP Tour

In August 1998, Massú won his first Futures tournament, in Spain. The following month, he claimed his first Challenger event, in Ecuador. He won his second Challenger tournament in June 1999, in Italy. In September 1999, he successfully defended his title in Ecuador. In November 1999, he won the Santiago Challenger event, and cracked the top 100 in singles for the first time. [11]

In May 2000, Massú reached his first ATP tournament final, at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Orlando, Florida, where he lost to Fernando González. Later in August, he lost again to another Chilean—Marcelo Ríos—in his US Open debut. In January 2001, Massú reached his second ATP event final, in Adelaide, Australia. [11]

Massú's first ATP title came in February 2002 in Buenos Aires, where he defeated Argentine Agustín Calleri in a three-set final, after being down match point. At the 2003 event, Calleri took revenge and defeated him in the first round, a loss that pushed Massú out of the top 100 in singles and forced him to play Challengers once again. In April 2003, he reached the Bermuda Challenger final. [11]

Massú claimed his second ATP title in July 2003 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. The following week, he reached the final of the Kitzbühel, Austria tournament, cracking the top 50 in singles for the first time. In September he made three consecutive tournament finals, including a win at a Challenger event and his third ATP title at Palermo, Italy. In October, he reached the final at the Madrid Tennis Masters Series tournament, losing to Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final. He ended the year at World No. 12. [11]

In mid-2004, Massú parted ways with Argentine coach Gabriel Markus, whom he replaced with Chilean Patricio Rodríguez. In July 2004, Massú won his fourth ATP title in Kitzbühel, and then went on to win two gold medals at the Athens Olympics in August (see below). Thanks to his outstanding performance at the Olympics, he reached his career-high ATP singles ranking of World No. 9. In November, he underwent groin surgery, and therefore entered the 2005 season off top form. He ended an unremarkable 2005 with a six-match losing streak, although ironically 2005 also saw his best performance at a Grand Slam tournament as he reached the fourth round of the US Open, losing to Guillermo Coria. [11]

Nicolás Massú in Kitzbühel 2005 Nicolas Massu.jpg
Nicolás Massú in Kitzbühel 2005
At the 2006 Australian Open Nicolas Massu 2006 Australian Open.JPG
At the 2006 Australian Open

He was the first player to be beaten by Stan Wawrinka in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, at the 2005 French Open. [12] [13]

In January 2006, Massú lost his hometown event at Viña del Mar to José Acasuso in the final. In February, he won his sixth ATP event at Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. In April, he reached the final of the Casablanca event in Morocco. In July, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Amersfoort tournament. [11]

In January 2007, Massú repeated his Viña del Mar showing of 2006, losing to Luis Horna in straight sets. In July, he began an eight-match losing streak, ended in October in Saint Petersburg.

Massú had an early exit at the Viña del Mar tournament in January 2008, losing to Sergio Roitman in the first round. Because he was defending points from a final showing in 2007, the following week he fell to no. 97 in the world. In July, his singles ranking plummeted to no. 138, his worst since November 1999. Later in the year, he won the Florianópolis II Challenger event and was finalist in two other tournaments at that level. [11]

Massú began 2009 by not winning a match during his first five tournaments and losing his opening Davis Cup singles match against Croatia in March. He broke his losing streak at the Indian Wells Masters, beating Argentine Eduardo Schwank in three sets in the first round. [11]


Massú has represented Chile in three Summer Olympics: 2000 Sydney, Athens 2004, and 2008 Beijing. At the 2000 event's opening ceremony, he was his country's standard bearer, after Marcelo Ríos failed to show up. In his first-round match, he beat Slava Doseděl, but lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero in the next round.

The story was different in Athens, where Massú captured both singles and doubles titles. On August 21, he and partner Fernando González, defeated Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schüttler of Germany to win the doubles competition, making history by giving Chile its first-ever Olympic gold medal. Massú and Gonzalez came from 4 straight match points at the fourth set tie-break to claim the gold. The following day, he captured his second gold medal by defeating American Mardy Fish in five sets in the men's singles final. Following his victory in singles he was declared as Athlete of the Day by the 2004 Athens Olympics' organization. [14]

"I was so happy because this is my best memory in my sport career. If I look back in 10 more years, I look back on this, I'm gonna be so happy. Now I can die happy." [3]

Because of his low ranking, Massú was granted a wild card to compete in both singles and doubles events in Beijing. [15] He only managed to reach the second round in singles and was ousted on his first match in doubles, where he partnered again with Fernando González. To this day, Massú is the only male player in the open era to have won gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic games.

Davis Cup

Massú began playing for Chile in Davis Cup matches in 1996. He played in the World Group representing Chile in the years from 2005 to 2007, and again from 2009 to 2011. He ended his participation with a record of 29–17, including 17–4 on clay. [16]

In 2014, Massú took the position of captain of the Chile Davis Cup team, [17] with former no. 1 Marcelo Ríos as coach. After five years since the start of his tenure as captain, the team achieved a comeback to the elite group of the cup, qualifying for the 2019 finals, eight years after its last participation.

Maccabiah Games

Massú is a veteran of the 2001 Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish Olympics. [18]

Playing style

Massú had a style characteristic of a clay-court specialist, [19] with strong baseline play characterized by a solid forehand and backhand.

Massú is known for his fighting spirit, especially when playing for Chile, as he has demonstrated at the 2004 Olympics and at numerous Davis Cup matches. He has also turned around difficult matches.

Significant finals

Olympic finals

Singles: 1 (1–0)

Gold 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Flag of the United States.svg Mardy Fish 6–3, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4

Doubles: 1 (1–0)

Gold 2004 Athens Olympics Hard Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González Flag of Germany.svg Nicolas Kiefer
Flag of Germany.svg Rainer Schüttler
6–2, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–4

Masters Series finals

Singles: 1 (0–1)

Runner-up 2003 Madrid Hard (i) Flag of Spain.svg Juan Carlos Ferrero 3–6, 4–6, 3–6

ATP career finals

Singles: 15 (6 titles, 9 runner-ups)

Grand Slam (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
Olympic Gold (1–0)
ATP Masters Series (0–1)
ATP International Series Gold (1–1)
ATP Tour (4–7)
Titles by Surface
Hard (1–2)
Clay (5–7)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Runner-up1.May 7, 2000 Orlando, USClay Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González 2–6, 3–6
Runner-up2.January 7, 2001 Adelaide, AustraliaHard Flag of Germany.svg Tommy Haas 3–6, 1–6
Winner1.February 24, 2002 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay Flag of Argentina.svg Agustín Calleri 2–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2
Winner2.July 20, 2003 Amersfoort, NetherlandsClay Flag of the Netherlands.svg Raemon Sluiter 6–4, 7–6(7–3), 6–2
Runner-up3.July 27, 2003 Kitzbühel, AustriaClay Flag of Argentina.svg Guillermo Coria 1–6, 4–6, 2–6
Runner-up4.September 14, 2003 Bucharest, Romania Clay Flag of Spain.svg David Sánchez 2–6, 2–6
Winner3.September 28, 2003 Palermo, ItalyClay Flag of France.svg Paul-Henri Mathieu 1–6, 6–2, 7–6(7–0)
Runner-up5.October 19, 2003 Madrid, SpainHard (i) Flag of Spain.svg Juan Carlos Ferrero 3–6, 4–6, 3–6
Winner4.July 25, 2004 Kitzbühel, AustriaClay Flag of Argentina.svg Gastón Gaudio 7–6(7–3), 6–4
Winner5.August 22, 2004 Athens 2004 Summer Olympics Hard Flag of the United States.svg Mardy Fish 6–3, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up6.February 5, 2006 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Flag of Argentina.svg José Acasuso 4–6, 3–6
Winner6.February 26, 2006 Costa do Sauípe, Brazil Clay Flag of Spain.svg Alberto Martín 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up7.April 30, 2006 Casablanca, Morocco Clay Flag of Italy.svg Daniele Bracciali 1–6, 4–6
Runner-up8.July 23, 2006 Amersfoort, NetherlandsClay Flag of Serbia.svg Novak Djokovic 6–7(5–7), 4–6
Runner-up9.February 4, 2007 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Flag of Peru.svg Luis Horna 5–7, 3–6

Doubles: 3 (1–2)

Grand Slam (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
Olympic Gold (1–0)
ATP Masters Series (0–0)
ATP International Series Gold (0–1)
ATP Tour (0–1)
Titles by Surface
Hard (1–0)
Clay (0–2)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Runner-up1.March 7, 2004 Acapulco, MexicoClay Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Ignacio Chela Flag of the United States.svg Bob Bryan
Flag of the United States.svg Mike Bryan
2–6, 3–6
Winner1.August 21, 2004 Athens 2004 Summer Olympics Hard Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González Flag of Germany.svg Nicolas Kiefer
Flag of Germany.svg Rainer Schüttler
6–2, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6(9–7), 6–4
Runner-up2.July 24, 2005 Amersfoort, NetherlandsClay Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González Flag of Argentina.svg Martín García
Flag of Peru.svg Luis Horna
4–6, 4–6

ATP Challengers & ITF Futures finals: 18 (10–8)

ATP Challenger Tour (8–5)
ITF Futures (2–3)
Runner-up1.May 24, 1998 Vero Beach, Florida, USClay Flag of Haiti.svg Ronald Agénor 3–6, 6–3, 3–6
Runner-up2.May 31, 1998 Boca Raton, Florida, USClay Flag of Haiti.svg Ronald Agénor1–6, 2–6
Runner-up3.June 21, 1998 Lafayette, California, USHard Flag of the United States.svg Cecil Mamiit 6–0, 3–6, 0–6
Winner1.August 23, 1998 Vigo, SpainClay Flag of Spain.svg Tommy Robredo 6–4, 6–2
Winner2.August 30, 1998 Irun, SpainClay Flag of France.svg Maxime Boyé 6–4, 3–6, 6–3
Winner3.September 7, 1998 Quito, EcuadorClay Flag of Mexico.svg Mariano Sánchez 3–6, 6–3, 6–0
Winner4.June 21, 1999 Biella, ItalyClay Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Oleg Ogorodov 7–6(7–5), 5–7, 6–3
Winner5.September 6, 1999 Quito, EcuadorClay Flag of Ecuador.svg Luis Adrián Morejón 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
Winner6.November 1, 1999 Santiago, Chile Clay Flag of Morocco.svg Karim Alami 6–7(4–7), 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up4.November 28, 1999 Guadalajara, MexicoClay Flag of Brazil.svg Francisco Costa 6–4, 5–7, 3–6
Winner7.September 15, 2003 Szczecin, PolandClay Flag of Spain.svg Albert Portas 6–4, 6–3
Runner-up5.April 14, 2003 Paget, BermudaClay Flag of Brazil.svg Flávio Saretta 1–6, 4–6
Winner8.May 5, 2008 Rijeka, Croatia Clay Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Christophe Rochus 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up6.August 3, 2008 Belo Horizonte, BrazilHard Flag of Mexico.svg Santiago González 4–6, 3–6
Winner9.October 6, 2008 Florianópolis, BrazilClay Flag of France.svg Olivier Patience 6–7(4–7), 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up8.October 13, 2008 Montevideo, UruguayClay Flag of Australia.svg Peter Luczak W/O
Runner-up8.October 23, 2009 Santiago, ChileClay Flag of Argentina.svg Eduardo Schwank 2–6, 2–6
Winner10.November 22, 2009 Cancún, MexicoClay Flag of Slovenia.svg Grega Zemlja 6–3, 7–5

Team titles

Winner1.24 May 2003 World Team Cup
Düsseldorf, Germany
Clay Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González
Flag of Chile.svg Marcelo Ríos
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Jiří Novák
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Radek Štěpánek
Winner2.22 May 2004 World Team Cup
Düsseldorf, Germany
Clay Flag of Chile.svg Adrián García
Flag of Chile.svg Fernando González
Flag of Australia.svg Wayne Arthurs
Flag of Australia.svg Paul Hanley
Flag of Australia.svg Lleyton Hewitt
Flag of Australia.svg Mark Philippoussis

Performance timeline

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

Singles performance timeline

Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open AAAAA 1R 1R A 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R A Q3 AA1–8
French Open AAA Q1 2R 1R A 2R 3R 1R 3R 2R Q2 2R 1R AAA8–9
Wimbledon AAAA 1R 3R 1R 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R AA 1R AAA4–9
US Open AAA Q1 1R 2R 3R 3R 2R 4R 2R 1R Q2 1R AAAA9–9
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics ANot Held 2R Not Held G Not Held 2R Not HeldANH8–2
Davis Cup
Davis Cup Z1 Z1 PO PO PO Z1 PO 1R QF 1R PO 1R QF 1R 22–12
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells AA Q1 A Q1 2R A Q2 2R A 2R 1R 2R 2R AAAA4–6
Miami AAAA 2R 1R A 3R 2R A 3R 1R Q1 3R 1R Q2 AA7–8
Monte Carlo AAAAA Q1 2R A 3R A 1R 2R A Q1 AAAA4–4
Rome AAAAAAA 1R QF 2R 1R 3R A Q2 AAAA6–5
Hamburg 1AAAAAAA Q1 1R 2R 1R 1R A Q1 AAAA1–4
Cincinnati AAAAAAA Q2 1R 1R 1R AAAAAAA0–3
Madrid 2AAAAA 1R A F 2R 1R 2R Q2 AAAAAA6–5
Paris AAAA Q1 Q1 A 3R 3R 1R 1R Q2 AAAAAA2–4
Career Statistics
Overall Win–Loss0–10–12–24–226–2523–2829–1936–2042–2818–2238–2717–269–129–124–80–30–10–1257–238
Year End Ranking88258318897878056121966447976112186450618876$4,343,298

Doubles performance timeline

Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 1R 2R 1–2
French Open SF 1R 4–2
Wimbledon 1R 2R 1–2
US Open 1R QF 3R 2R 2R 7–5
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics Not Held 1R Not Held G Not Held 1R Not HeldNH5–2
Davis Cup
Davis Cup PO Z1 PO PO PO Z1 PO 1R QF 1R PO 1R QF 1R 10–12
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells 1R 0–1
Miami 1R 1R 0–2
Monte Carlo QF 1R 2–2
Rome 1R 1R SF 3–3
Hamburg 1 1R 2R 1R 2–2
Canada 2R 1R 1–2
Cincinnati QF 1R 2–2
Madrid 2 1R 0–1
Paris 1R QF 1–1
Career Statistics
Overall Win–Loss0–01–23–22–05–80–31–55–630–2113–158–126–115–60–32–41–20–10–182–102
Year End Ranking4703193562431263T3892913658139257221490342376935$362,632

1Held as Hamburg Masters till 2008. Held as Madrid Masters 2009–2013.
2Held as Stuttgart Masters till 2001, Madrid Masters from 2002–2008, and Shanghai Masters 2009–2013.

Top 10 wins

1. Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Tim Henman 10 Adelaide, AustraliaHardSF3–6, 7–5, 6–287
2. Flag of the United States.svg Andy Roddick 2 Madrid, SpainHard (i)3R7–6(7–3), 6–221
3. Flag of Germany.svg Rainer Schüttler 7 World Team Cup, Düsseldorf, GermanyClayRR6–4, 4–6, 6–211
4. Flag of Germany.svg Rainer Schüttler 8 Kitzbühel, AustriaClaySF6–3, 6–313
5. Flag of Spain.svg Carlos Moyá 4 Summer Olympics, Athens, GreeceHardQF6–2, 7–514
6. Flag of the United States.svg Andy Roddick 3 Hamburg, GermanyClay1R7–6(7–4), 4–6, 7–525
7. Flag of the United States.svg Andy Roddick 5 World Team Cup, Düsseldorf, GermanyClayRR4–2, ret.35
8. Flag of the United States.svg James Blake 9 Rome, ItalyClay2R7–6(7–3), 7–559

See also


  1. In isolation, Nicolás is pronounced [nikoˈlas] .


  1. "Chile's Nicolas Massu retires from tennis". USA Today. August 27, 2013.
  2. "United States Tennis Association – USTA Yearbook – Olympic Games". Archived from the original on April 23, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Nicolás Massú (1979– )". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  4. Also Archived April 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine ,
  5. Also ,
  6. Miranda Valderrama, Luis (April 12, 2008). "nicolás Massú en la intimidad; Volveré a estar arriba". El Mercurio . Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  7. "Crónica: Palestino vs Colo Colo – Primera División de Chile". . December 14, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  8. 1 2 "Massu: Spirit Of A Survivor" ( ATP World Tour- 13/09/2012) - Nico Massu blog
  9. JUNIOR TENNIS; American Loses In Orange Bowl - The New York Times
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Nicolas Massu | Overview | ATP World Tour | Tennis
  12. Bollettieri, Nick (May 26, 2009). "2009 French Open – Nick's picks – Men's Singles Round 2". Nick's picks. Archived from the original on January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  13. "2004 – 2005, Roland Garros". The History of Men's Tennis. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  14. Nico Massu blog - A blog about Nico Massu, Double Olympics Tennis Champion in Athens 2004. Blog sobre Nico Massu,Doble Campeon olimpicos de tenis en 2004. Blog sur Nico Massu,...
  15. Wine, Steven (June 30, 2008). "Massu granted special place in Olympic tennis". Seattle Times . Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  16. "Davis Cup – Players; Nicolas MASSU". Official website of the Davis Cup . Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  17. [i]
  18. "Massu Records Double Gold!". August 22, 2004. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  19. Rafael Nadal practiced with Nicolas Massu in Chile
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Flag of Russia.svg Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Olympic Tennis Champion
Succeeded by
Flag of Spain.svg Rafael Nadal
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Sebastián Keitel
Flagbearer for Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
2000 Sydney
Succeeded by
Kristel Köbrich