Schwartzman Digs Deep To Take Los Cabos Title
Third seed Diego Schwartzman stepped up when it counted most on Saturday at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos. The Argentine saved three set points en route to clinching his first title of the year over fifth-seeded American Taylor Fritz 7-6(6), 6-3.
Schwartzman earned the third ATP Tour title of his career and his first on hard courts. The 26-year-old’s other highlights this season include a runner-up finish in Buenos Aires (l. to Cecchinato) and his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Schwartzman now leads 2-1 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Fritz.
Despite the loss, the 21-year-old Fritz can be pleased with another strong result. He’s won 13 of his past 16 matches, including his first ATP Tour title in June at the Nature Valley International (d. Querrey) and a runner-up finish last week at the BB&T Atlanta Open (l. to De Minaur). Fritz sits at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 28, but is projected to crack the Top 25 when the newest standings are released on Monday.
It appeared that Fritz would dominate in the opening stages of the match. A baseline error from Schwartzman gifted the American an early break to lead 3-1 in the first set, but the Argentine settled down and increased his margins in the rallies to earn the break back. Serving at 5-6, 0/40, Schwartzman bravely saved three set points with a barrage of big serves and forehands to force a tie-break.
A double fault from Fritz gave Schwartzman a 6/3 advantage in the tie-break, but Fritz launched his own comeback to even the score. At 6/6, Fritz’s serve let him down again with another double fault and Schwartzman made good on his fourth opportunity to close out the set.
Schwartzman grabbed an early break in the second set due to Fritz receiving a point penalty and led 3-1, but the magnitude of the occasion appeared to get to the Argentine. Schwartzman began to decelerate on his forehand and allowed Fritz to get the break back at 4-2, but regrouped brilliantly in the next game and broke Fritz for a 5-3 advantage. The third seed fell to the ground in elation after a forehand sent wide from Fritz wrapped up the match after one hour and 43 minutes.
Schwartzman picked up 250 ATP Rankings points and $131,430. Fritz walked away with 150 ATP Rankings points and $71,065.