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Coach Massu: US Open Crown Will Catapult Thiem

By Richard Pagliaro

Nicolas Massu knows all about paying the price to realize a dream—and the competitive rewards reaped from a championship run.

The two-time Olympic gold-medal champion and coach of Dominic Thiem exhorted the second-seeded Austrian in his historic US Open comeback.

More: Thiem Tops Zverev To Win US Open

The second-seeded Thiem joined legendary Hall of Famer Pancho Gonzales as just the second man in US Open history to fight back from a two-set deficit and take the title.

Massú, who withstood the pain of marathon matches delivering two gold medals to his home country of Chile in the 2004 Olympics, says Thiem's inspired comeback will make him a better player and calmer competitor.

"Now I think this will help a lot to Dominic to be more calm because they talk a lot about not only in the tennis world, in everywhere else, the new generation, the new guys, you know?" Massu said. "Dominic is still very young. He just turned 27. Today he won the first US Open, first Grand Slam. Now for him is going to be more calm to play in the next Grand Slam."

In New York, Thiem joined 1995 Roland Garros champion Thomas Muster as the second Austrian to capture a Grand Slam singles title. Massu believes Thiem, a two-time Roland Garros runner-up to Rafael Nadal, will have a strong shot to prevail in Paris and win the French Open.

"I think he for sure maybe this year or whatever, he will have a chance to win French Open," Massu said. "But now I think we have to go step by step. We won here. When we arrive to Paris, when we start to practice, we have to think about French Open."

Reflecting on a wild run climaxing with an epic comeback in the US Open final, Massu said this title will instill an even greater sense of self belief in Thiem. 

"Okay, that's why you need to be always awake with the situations, to be confident," Massu said. "Confident but with respect always, to respect all the opponent. Doesn't matter you play with the No. 1 in the world or you play with one guy 1000 in the world.

"You can lose with anyone, and also you can beat anyone."

Photo credit: Nicolas Massu Instagram