Schwartzman Storms Into Third Roland Garros Quarter-final

  • Posted: Jun 07, 2021

Based on his form in Paris, you would have no clue that Diego Schwartzman arrived at Roland Garros on a four-match losing streak.

The 10th seed has found devastating form on the terre battue, defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(9), 6-4, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals at the clay-court major for the third time. The Argentine, who has not lost a set in the tournament, will next play 13-time champion Rafael Nadal or #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner.

“I love this country, I love Paris. I think my best tennis is always here,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “It was not a good clay season, but when I came the first day here, I was feeling very well again. I’m very happy to be back, very happy to be in the quarter-finals again. I’m not very happy to maybe play Rafa in the next round, but let’s see what happens this time.”

With the way the match started, a straight-sets victory appeared unlikely. Struff, who beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev in the first round, powered to a 5-1 advantage and had his eyes set on a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final berth.

But Schwartzman, who made the semi-finals here in October, clawed his way back into the opener, saving seven set points in the first set to seize the momentum. He never looked back, becoming the fourth Argentine man to reach three Roland Garros quarter-finals after three hours and two minutes.

“The people were enjoying, so why not play a few more games in the match?” Schwartzman joked. “It really was an amazing feeling today, playing with a lot of people… I love you guys, so see you next round.”

What was most impressive was not just that Schwartzman saved seven set points, but that he did it at several points throughout the set, staving off the German’s relentless attack. The 28-year-old saved four set points at 1-5, another on serve at 2-5 and one more at 3-5 prior to the tie-break, which was full of tension.

Schwartzman saw a 3/0 lead evaporate and saved a seventh set point at 6/7, after Struff hit a backhand into the net. The Argentine finally claimed the 66-minute opener with a net cord winner, which Struff could not scramble up cleanly.

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The World No. 42 put the disappointment behind him to break first in the second set. But Schwartzman never let his focus slip, converting all three of his break points in the second set, which he finished off with back-to-back screaming backhand passing shots.

Struff rallied from a 0-4 deficit in the third set with courageous shotmaking, but Schwartzman was undeterred. This year’s Buenos Aires champion broke for the eighth time in the match — with another backhand passing shot — to clinch his victory, turning to his camp and screaming “Vamos!” with both arms in the air.

“I did many mistakes. I think at the beginning of the match, he had the first set very easy. I made a comeback. Then in the second I was two times a break down. Then in the third I was up, then I was not sure to close the match,” Schwartzman said. “It was a weird match, but it sometimes happens. The important thing is I won in three sets. I’m just thinking positively right now.”

Did You Know?
Schwartzman is into his fifth Grand Slam quarter-final, putting him in fourth place among Argentine men for the most trips to the last eight at a major.

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