Diego Schwartzman is making his third ATP Cup appearance this week in Sydney, leading Team Argentina in Group D at the 16-team event.
The 29-year-old, who triumphed against Nikoloz Basilashvili in his first match at the tournament this week, spoke to ATPTour.com about what places he loves in Argentina, who inspired him and much more.
If you could take one shot from any member of your team and add it to your game what would it be?
Good question, I think not a shot, but Delbonis’ size. Some extra centimetres for me should be okay.
Who on the team would most likely be late for practice or a team dinner?
Maybe me. I’m a relaxed guy, so, I mean, sometimes I go to the places five or 10 minutes late. You know, I’m doing something else or taking a coffee, or talking with someone and It’s difficult to arrive on time.
Can you describe the personality of the other players in the team?
Everyone is very similar, we know each other since we are young. [Andres] Molteni is the funniest guy in the team, he’s always joking, always smiling. Then Machi [Maximo Gonzalez], I think he has the experience, you know? He is the old guy in the team.
Federico Coria was the fifth player, but he’s not here, but he is obviously very funny, same age as me. I think he’s one of my best friends on tour, and then Delbonis, same thing, we know each other since we are 10 years old so we have a very good relationship.
We share a lot, and I think everyone is funny and everyone is always smiling and we have a very good relationship, so we have a very good team.
Which Argentine players inspired you to play tennis when you were young?
Well, everyone. When I was young we had Nalbandian, Coria, Gaudio, Chela, Zabaleta, Monaco; everyone was playing. We had five to 10 guys at the same time. Not many countries can say that, perhaps Spain or France.
Can you describe the first tennis club that you played tennis at?
I started playing as a child for 30 minutes or one hour at Club Nautico Hacoaj in Buenos Aires. It’s one of the biggest clubs in South America with 30 courts.
Now they put the name of the centre court as Diego Schwartzman, so it was a very nice moment a few weeks ago. And I started playing there. Then I moved to an academy in the capital and a few years after I started my professional career.
Tell me three things you love about your country?
Everything! The social… sharing, how we share everything. The asado…: the steak barbeque. And…mate, the drink.
Where would you recommend a tourist visit?
Well, I love my country. We are a very big country and you have different styles. If you like the south – the mountains, the lakes, the snow – you have to go to Patagonia. I mean, Patagonia it’s one of the famous places in the world. We are very far but, if you have time you have to come. I have never seen something like this in the world. And also one big part in Chile. We share the Patagonia because los Andes are there, and it’s unbelievable.
And then in the North you have the desert. Jujuy and Salta, are unbelievable places. And then in the middle is Buenos Aires, the capital, and I live there so I love it.