Photo: Paul ZimmerNicolas Massu (CHI)
CALABASAS, CA, USA: On the west coast of the United States of America, former ATP world No. 9, Nicolas Massu, was, this week, making an appearance on the ITF Pro Circuit for the first time since retiring injured in a first round match in the English city of Newcastle back in May 1999!
Since that final appearance on the ITF Pro Circuit, Massu has enjoyed a high-level career with one of the highlights coming in the 2004 Athens Olympics where he became the first male player, since the return of tennis to the Games in 1988, to capture the gold medal in both singles and doubles.
However, the 33-year old Chilean’s ranking has gradually fallen since dropping out of the ATP’s Top 100 in early July 2010 and over the past year he has been mainly relying on wild cards into tournaments. Now ranked at No. 574, it is a wild card that has gained him entry into the ITF Pro Circuit tournament in Calabasas.
Massu’s pro career began on the ITF Pro Circuit where he reached six finals in the opening eight months of 1998; winning the last two of them back-to-back for his only two ITF Pro Circuit singles titles to date.
Any hopes of adding a third title to his collection were, however, dashed on Wednesday (13 March) evening as he suffered a three-set loss to Matheson Klein. The Australian, 10-years Massu’s junior, took a commanding position when dropping just two opening set games in their first round match before Massu rallied to level the score at one set apiece with a closely fought 75 second set win.
The third, and decisive, set proved another close contest but it was Klein who just edged it 64 to secure the victory and bring a quick end to Massu’s return to the ITF Pro Circuit. In doing so, he condemned the former Chilean Davis Cup star to his fourth successive first round loss in 2013.
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