Nicolás Massú

Nicolás Massú
Nicolás Massú
Country  Chile
Residence Viña del Mar
Born October 10, 1979 (1979-10-10) (age 32)
Viña del Mar
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Turned pro 1997
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career prize money US$4,286,614
Career record 257–233 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 6
Highest ranking No. 9 (September 13, 2004)
Current ranking No. 448 (June 20, 2011)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open 2nd Round (2005)
French Open 3rd Round (2004, 2006)
Wimbledon 3rd Round (2001)
US Open 4th Round (2005)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games Gold medal.svg Gold medal (2004)
Career record 81–98 (at ATP Tour level and Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 31 (July 25, 2005)
Other Doubles tournaments
Olympic Games Gold medal.svg Gold medal (2004)
Last updated on: January 17, 2011.
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Chile
Men's Tennis
Gold 2004 Athens Singles
Gold 2004 Athens Doubles

Nicolás Alejandro Massú Fried (born October 10, 1979, in Viña del Mar, Chile), nicknamed Vampiro (Spanish: "vampire"), is a Chilean tennis player, a former world number nine in singles, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He is the only male player to have won both the singles and doubles gold medals in the same Olympic Games in modern (1988 ff.) Olympic tennis.[1]


Tennis career

Early years

Massú was introduced to tennis at age five by his Hungarian 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, 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. He also claimed the boys doubles competitions at Wimbledon (with Peru's Luis Horna) and the US Open (with countryman Fernando González), and was junior doubles world champion.

ATP Tour

In August 1998, Massú won his first future 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.

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—on his US Open debut. In January 2001, Massú reached his second ATP event final, in Adelaide, Australia.

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.

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 number 12.

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 best ATP Singles Ranking to date, at number 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.

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.

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 defended points from a final showing in 2007, the following week he fell to number 97 in the world. In July his singles ranking plummeted to #138, his worst since November 1999. Later in the year he won the Florianópolis II challenger event and was finalist in two other tournaments of this level.

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.


Massú has represented Chile in three Summer Olympics: Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. At the 2000 event's opening ceremony, he was his country's standard bearer, after Marcelo Ríos failed to show up. On 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. 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.

"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."[2]

Because of his low ranking, Massú was granted a wild card to compete in both singles and doubles events in Beijing.[3] He only managed to reach the second round in singles and was ousted on his first match in doubles, where he partnered with Fernando González.

Davis Cup

Massú began playing for Chile in Davis Cup matches in 1996. He currently is 29–17, including 17–4 on clay.[4]

Maccabiah Games

Massú is a veteran of the 2001 Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish Olympics.[5]

Playing style

Massú has a style characteristic of a clay court specialist, 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.

Personal life

Massú is Jewish,[2][6] as is his mother, Sonia Fried.[2][7] His father, Manuel Massú, is of Palestinian[8][9] or Lebanese[10][11] ancestry. He has two brothers, Stefano and Jorge.

Nicolás Massú in Kitzbühel 2005

All finals

Grand Slam (0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0)
Olympic Gold (1)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP International Series Gold (1)
ATP Tour (4)
Titles by Surface
Hard (1)
Clay (5)
Grass (0)
Carpet (0)

Singles titles

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in Final Score in Final
1. February 24, 2002 Buenos Aires, Argentina Clay Argentina Agustín Calleri 2–6, 7–6(5), 6–2
2. July 20, 2003 Amersfoort, Netherlands Clay Netherlands Raemon Sluiter 6–4, 7–6(3), 6–2
3. September 28, 2003 Palermo, Italy Clay France Paul-Henri Mathieu 1–6, 6–2, 7–6(0)
4. July 25, 2004 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Argentina Gastón Gaudio 7–6(3), 6–4
5. August 22, 2004 Athens 2004 Summer Olympics Hard United States Mardy Fish 6–3, 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 6–4
6. February 26, 2006 Costa do Sauípe, Brazil Clay Spain Alberto Martín 6–3, 6–4

Singles runners-up

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. May 7, 2000 Orlando, U.S. Clay Chile Fernando González 2–6, 3–6
2. January 7, 2001 Adelaide, Australia Hard Germany Tommy Haas 3–6, 1–6
3. July 27, 2003 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Argentina Guillermo Coria 1–6, 4–6, 2–6
4. September 14, 2003 Bucharest, Romania Clay Spain David Sánchez 2–6, 2–6
5. October 19, 2003 Madrid, Spain Hard (i) Spain Juan Carlos Ferrero 3–6, 4–6, 3–6
6. February 5, 2006 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Argentina José Acasuso 4–6, 3–6
7. April 30, 2006 Casablanca, Morocco Clay Italy Daniele Bracciali 1–6, 4–6
8. July 23, 2006 Amersfoort, Netherlands Clay Serbia Novak Djokovic 6–7(5), 4–6
9. February 4, 2007 Viña del Mar, Chile Clay Peru Luis Horna 5–7, 3–6

Doubles titles

No. Date Tournament Surface Partnering Opponents in the final Score
1. August 21, 2004 Athens 2004 Summer Olympics Hard Chile Fernando González Germany Nicolas Kiefer
Germany Rainer Schüttler
6–2, 4–6, 3–6, 7–6(7), 6–4

Team competition wins

Challenger singles titles

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. September 7, 1998 Quito, Ecuador Clay Mexico Mariano Sánchez 3–6, 6–3, 6–0
2. June 21, 1999 Biella, Italy Clay Uzbekistan Oleg Ogorodov 7–6(5), 5–7, 6–3
3. September 6, 1999 Quito, Ecuador Clay Ecuador Luis Adrián Morejón 6–2, 3–6, 6–3
4. November 1, 1999 Santiago, Chile Clay Morocco Karim Alami 6–7(4), 6–2, 6–4
5. September 15, 2003 Szczecin, Poland Clay Spain Albert Portas 6–4, 6–3
6. May 5, 2008 Rijeka, Croatia Clay Belgium Christophe Rochus 6–2, 6–2
7. October 6, 2008 Florianópolis, Brazil Clay France Olivier Patience 6–7(4), 6–2, 6–1
8. November 22, 2009 Cancún, Mexico Clay Slovenia Grega Zemlja 6–3, 7–5

Challenger singles runners-up

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. November 22, 1999 Guadalajara, Mexico Clay Brazil Francisco Costa 6–4, 5–7, 3–6
2. April 14, 2003 Bermuda Clay Brazil Flávio Saretta 1–6, 4–6
3. August 3, 2008 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Hard Mexico Santiago González 4–6, 3–6
4. October 13, 2008 Montevideo, Uruguay Clay Australia Peter Luczak W/O
5. October 23, 2009 Santiago, Chile Clay Argentina Eduardo Schwank 2–6, 2–6

Grand Slam performance timeline

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Career SR Career win-loss
Australian Open A 1R 1R A 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R A LQ 0 / 8 1–8
French Open 2R 1R A 2R 3R 1R 3R 2R LQ 2R 1R - 0 / 9 8–9
Wimbledon 1R 3R 1R 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R A A 1R - 0 / 9 4–9
U.S. Open 1R 2R 3R 3R 2R 4R 2R 1R LQ 1R A - 0 / 9 10–9
Grand Slam Win-Loss 1–3 3–4 2–3 4–3 3–4 4–4 3–4 1–4 0–1 1–3 0–2 0–0 0 / 35 22–35
Year End Ranking 87 80 56 12 18 66 44 79 76 112 186 - N/A N/A
  • A = did not participate in the tournament.
  • LQ = lost in pre-tournament qualifying.
  • SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

See also


  1. ^ "United States Tennis Association – USTA Yearbook – Olympic Games". Retrieved February 23, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Nicolás Massú (1979– )". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  3. ^ Wine, Steven (June 30, 2008). "Massu granted special place in Olympic tennis". Seattle Times. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Davis Cup – Players; Nicolas MASSU". Official website of the Davis Cup. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Massu Records Double Gold!". August 22, 2004. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  6. ^ Also [1], [2]
  7. ^ Also [3], [4]
  8. ^ Miranda Valderrama, Luis (April 12, 2008). "nicolás Massú en la intimidad; Volveré a estar arriba". El Mercurio. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Crónica: Palestino vs Colo Colo – Primera División de Chile". December 14, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  10. ^ The Jewish Chronicle[dead link]
  11. ^ "Nicolás Massú | 2010 Winter Olympic Games". October 10, 1979. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 

External links

Preceded by
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Olympic Champion
Succeeded by
Rafael Nadal

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