Lady Carlita sent me the translation of an article from a Netherlands tennis magazine from right after the Olympics.
He isn't kidding about how he plays depends on how he feels.
I've seen it in action, and I want to lock him in a room with Andre who has said that it doesn't matter how you feel when you get on court, you just have to play through it (and he plays that way and obviously has the results).
A huge gracias to Lady Carlita!
Nicolas Massu’s new fame
At the Athens Olympic Games the 25-year-old Chilean, nicknamed “El Vampiro”, came to never dreamed of fame. The new people’s hero won the Singles title and, with Fernando Gonzalez, the doubles title. An interview with a “piece of temperament”. (basically means a "passionate guy").
How did you experience the Olympics?
That was great. First of all the moment I won 2 gold medals and then the grand reception in Chile with President Lagos. There were thousands of people who were shouting my name and that of my friend (and doublespartner) Fernando Gonzalez. Tons of confetti were thrown at us and we got presents from everywhere.
Chile had to wait 80 years for an Olympic medal. Are you a hero of the people now?
The Olympics have drastically changed my life. I suddenly became known worldwide. After the reception in Chile I couldnt leave my hotelroom without a bodyguard. Eversince then the Chilean press has also started writing about our private lives. Chile is only a small country with a few celebrities. At some moments I’d like to be less famous again.
Have you become the new sexsymbol now too with all those female fans?
A sexsymbol also has to win because a loser is not attractive. This also goes for the Chilean press. When you win you’re the big hero, but when you lose they call you a "loser". In between doesn’t count here.
Most profis from Chile are clay court specialists. You can also perform on other surfaces?
You have seen that in Athens where we played on hardcourt. You can make the most money on fast courts and because of that we practice more and more on hardcourt and carpet.
Do you believe that the sucesses in Athens will cause a “tennisboom”?
I hope so! The gold medals in Athens and the World Team Cup win in Dusseldorf are steps in the right direction. If us Chileans would have chances anywhere, it would be in tennis. Tennis has always been the 2nd sport, behind soccer/football, and that is not about to change very soon.
Can anyone play tennis in Chile or is it an elite sport?
Tennis is mostly played by those who are “better off”. Luckily the tennisfederation is helping those talents who don’t have any money. We are after all not a poor country. If you want to become really good you do have to go abroad. I am very happy that my parents supported me financially so I could travel to the tournaments abroad.
How did you get in touch with tennis?
My parents play tennis and they took me along with them every weekend. I liked the sport and started play more and more. My grandad was the biggest inspiration to me. He was the one who taught my brother Jorge and me how to play.
You made much money playing tennis. What luxeries do you permit yourself?
I recently ordered a very beautiful Mercedes. And I have bought myself a very unique house. I don’t need more luxery. I’d prefer a nice and quiet life, and do a lot to achieve that.
Money and fame can cause a lot of jealousy. Do you notice that around you?
To be honest, no. Almost everything I do, I do for my country. That’s not a reason for people to be jealous. Besides that, I try to help others as much as possible.
Where are most of your friends? On the tour?
No, my best friends are at home in Chile. That’s why I always look forward to going back home to my family after tournamenst. My best friends on the Tour are: Fernando Gonzalez, Marcelo Rios, Luis Horna and a couple of Argentinians and Spaniards.
You mentioned Marcelo Rios. What does he do now?
After some sport problems and his divorce he decided to quit professional tennis. At the moment he’s doing a farewell tour through South-America, and what he will do after that, he doesn’t know yet himself.
What is your opinion about “you” and your personality?
I am very impulsive, though not as much as Marcelo Rios. When I feel good, everything will go well on court, but when I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t feel good, you can forget about the tennis. I lost to Calleri in Lyon this year without even competing. I didn’t like the court and wanted to leave as soon as possible.
You’re a good example of a multi cultural tennisplayer. Why’s that?
My mother is a Jewish Chilean and my father an Arab from Palestina. An amazing mixture that holds pretty well. It’s not something I think about really. I don’t follow the conflict between Israel and Palestina because I’m neither a Jew or Muslim.
What do you do in your spare time?
I visit my friends and we go out together. Also I often go to see footballmatches or I go swimming. Unfortunately I don’t have much spare time. Now the season has ended I’ll go on holiday to Mexico. In 2005 I will start at the Australian Open. Because of my ranking I can permit myself to only play the more important tournaments.
What are your expectations for the next season?
First of all I want to be happy. Then I would like to improve my tennis without looking at my ranking too much. Of course I would love to be number one in the world, but my first goal would be a solid place in the top ten. The gold medals are more important to me than de number one spot. I won them for my country and written historie that way. That means an awful lot to me!