US OPEN 2013
Massu Retires After 17 Years
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Nicolas Massu, a former World No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, winner of six ATP World Tour titles and Olympic gold medalist in both singles and doubles in 2004, announced his retirement from professional tennis Tuesday morning in Santiago, Chile.
With his parents, brothers and coach Horacio De La Pena in attendance, Massu reflected on his career and its impact on Chilean tennis. "With my retirement we close two incredible decades for our sport. Marcelo Rios, Fernando Gonzalez and I contributed to put Chile's name at the top. Now we are in a transition period and others will have to lead the way to bring joy to the people, with the most successful sport in Chile's history. I only pray that no comparisons arise between us and that future generations are not given undue pressure to succeed.”
An emotional Massu announced that he will not play in another tournament and will only prepare for a farewell match against an undisclosed opponent at the end of the year.
"After discussing it for months with my team, my heart and body, I decided to end my professional career being aware that it wasn't possible to get back to a top level and exhausted from the effort it takes to be an elite sportsman,” Massu explained in his press conference.
"A couple of days ago I received a letter from a lady that thanked me for all the good moments I gave her with my career,” the Chilean said while choking up. “She told me she named her son after me, so he would also be a fighter. That definitely got to me.”
Massu added, “My country can be sure that I hit each ball with all my soul and I tried to represent Chile to the fullest. I will miss the adrenaline of the Davis Cup, the ‘chi, chi, chi,’ and the ‘Let’s go Nico!’ chants."
In evaluating his career, the Vina del Mar native concluded that winning double gold at the Athens Olympics was the biggest highlight. "My Olympic medals are the greatest things this sport has given me. It's something I’m very proud to be able to share with my kids and tell them I'm in my country’s history.”
Massu defeated Mardy Fish in the singles final and partnered with Fernando Gonzalez to win the doubles crown. He is the fourth male tennis player in history to win two gold medals in the same Olympic Games.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who defeated Massu in their only two meetings, praised the Chilean on a great career. "I had a great relationship with him. He's one of the best competitors that I know. Big fighter on the court. He left a great legacy in the sport, in Chilean sport. Especially I think people respect him very much there. I wish him best in his now life after his career."