Nicolás Alejandro Massú Fried, nicknamed El Vampiro, is a Chilean former tennis player, a former World No. 9 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 during the same games in modern Olympic tennis (since 1988). Massú also reached the final of the 2003 Madrid Masters and won six singles titles.
Massú was born in a family of Palestinian and Hungarian-Jewish descent and 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, 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 in 1997 (and No. 5 in singles).
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. 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.
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.
Massú is a veteran of the 2001 Maccabiah Games, the international Jewish Olympics.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *