Mumbai: Diego Schwartzman loves to bounce; his social media account is stuffed with movies testifying to his uninhibited ardour for it. He likes to submit footage of himself lovingly faux-biting his associate, He likes to laze about together with his canines, play boardgames of PlayStation together with his colleagues when on tour, and he likes to play tennis. The man with a boxer’s nostril and boy-band smile has been hanging round Grand Slams doing all of the stuff he likes to do for what looks like endlessly.
Schwartzman broke into the highest 50 of the ATP world rankings in February 2017. He has by no means dropped out of it since. He has all of three career ATP titles to point out (one every in 2016, 2018 and 2019), however has an general record of 158-137. He tends to win greater than lose. He has performed in every of the 23 Grand Slams because the begin of the 2015 season, however has just gone so far as three quarter-finals to date.
This time, it’s a bit completely different.
On Friday, Schwartzman will play his maiden Major semi-final in his 25th look. Perhaps his earlier failures to transcend the quarters is as a result of he lacks that one standout weapon (serve, forehand, and so forth.) to blast previous his opponents. But he makes up for it with a stable all-round defensive game. It can also be why he’s doubtless to supply the hardest problem within the event but to Rafael Nadal, the defending champion who in any other case appears to be cruising in direction of a 13th Roland Garros title. Nadal leads Schwartzman 9-1 of their head-to-head record, however the Argentine has formerly troubled the king of clay right here at Roland Garros.
In 2018, Schwartzman snapped Nadal’s streak of successful 37 consecutive units within the event when he took the primary set 6-4. Schwartzman led 3-2 within the second earlier than rain halted the match. It was just after the solar appear out that Nadal turned the tide. The chilly and damp situations on this delayed French Open are considerably just like when Schwartzman gave Nadal just a few complications in 2018.
Note additionally that the solitary victory that the world No 14 has registered over the Spaniard appear just a few weeks in the past in Rome, where, once more like in Paris, the balls didn’t bounce as excessive. Schwartzman has additionally gained 9 out of his last 10 matches on clay, together with the win over Nadal in Rome and over two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.
“Well, I’m not sure because if I see the history, I’m 10-1 (9-1) down,” Schwartzman mentioned with a chuckle when requested about feeling assured of difficult Nadal after beating Thiem within the quarters. “I’m not sure if I’m going to have a lot of confidence. But, yeah, I know this week that I can beat him.”
Also carrying some confidence into his semi-final will probably be Stefanos Tsitsipas, who faces world No 1 Novak Djokovic. If the 22-year-old Greek was elegant in his straight-sets quarter-final win over Andrey Rublev, the highest seed Serb was patchy in type and health in beating Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-Four late on Wednesday night time. A free Djokovic dedicated 41 unforced errors and, further worryingly, confirmed discomfort together with his left arm and neck that appeared to ease just one time he obtained medical consideration after shedding the primary set.