Editor’s note: This story was translated from ATPTour.com/es.
Diego Schwartzman may not be enjoying the season he had hoped for, but on Monday at Roland Garros the Argentine proved he is not about to give up. The No. 95 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings came back to win 1-6, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0, 6-4 against 32nd seed Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
“In recent months I haven’t been able to find my game or the wins”, explained Schwartzman. “When I played well, the opponent played even better. When I was bad, they beat me quickly. At tournaments where I was feeling good, I had draws that didn’t help at all, against [Jannick] Sinner twice, [Holger] Rune… With a little bit of luck, I could have won a few more matches and improved my year. But that wasn’t the case and I got even worse.”
For Schwartzman, with a record of 5 wins and 14 defeats and now almost sitting outside the Top 100, the first-round win was a welcome respite that begged a question he has heard a lot in recent times: What’s going on with El Peque?
“Maybe I’ll find an explanation soon,” responded the Argentine. “We try different things in my team, that we all agree on and with the best of intentions. We thought we definitely needed a change. Often, you look to lay blame where there is none.”
Those changes included replacing his second coach, Alejandro Fabbri, with Mariano Monachesi, who also works with Facundo Diaz Acosta, and changing Martiniano Orazi (fitness coach) for Ignacio Menchon, who helped Juan Monaco reach the Top 10.
“I’m still doing things exactly the same. In fact, I’ve had to train tons more days more because I used to win a lot of matches, fortunately. I’ve done so with a good attitude but it’s not working,” he said. “Honestly, I’m a little tired of the daily grind, I’m finding it a bit more difficult. I’ve always been a player who has done things really well off court and reaped the rewards on court. That hasn’t happened and maybe the frustration makes everything more complicated.”
Not so long ago, Schwartzman had found himself a place among the elite, climbing to No. 8 in the World, reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros (2020) and he had previously ventured into the quarter-finals at the US Open (2017, 2019) among other notable achievements, including four ATP Tour titles.
“I feel like I belong in a certain place and I got that into my head,” Schwartzman said. “I say this to a lot of Argentines: you have to believe you’re good and able to win. Maybe, when I don’t feel like that… look where we are now. I’ve always said I don’t want to be a player who simply turns up at tournaments.
“I have to accept a year with a tennis slump,” admitted the Argentine. “I don’t know how I would deal with a second or third season having to organise a different schedule. And it’s not about a lack of humility. Each person feels comfortable playing in certain tournaments and in a certain position in the ranking. I’m going to turn 31, hopefully I can keep doing it. I’m going to do everything I can to be as good as possible. To come back I have a chasm to overcome. We’ll have to see how long the desire lasts. If I’m still trying next year and tennis doesn’t give back to me… then we’ll have to see what I do with my daily life.”