“Like an Arm-Wrestling” – Diego Schwartzman Reveals How to Beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Published 11/11/2020, 2:14 AM EST
Spain’s Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman after winning the semi final match REUTERS/Charles Platiau

For the first time in his career, Diego Schwartzman will contest as part of the ‘Elite 8’. The Argentine star has played his upcoming opponents on numerous occasions before, but the challenge is bigger this time, especially against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

As the ATP Finals 2020 is set to get underway, Schwartzman opened up on how the next week could pan out. He knows nothing short of his best would suffice.

I have to be one hundred percent to beat the Top Ten. If you are not like this it is very difficult to compete at the height of them,” Schwartzman said.

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Schwartzman differentiated between the level of difficulty he is set to face. Against the likes of Djokovic and Nadal, a brief moment of complacency can cost him, even if he is leading the proceedings.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Spain’s Rafael Nadal on the court before the final REUTERS/Charles Platiau

What Diego Schwartzman needs to do against different competitors

That’s why I separate them a bit. Against Rafa and Djokovic you have to play 100% the whole game. As soon as you have an ups and downs they find a crack and come out of the problem that you can generate,” Schwartzman expressed.

Schwartzman likened it to an arm-wrestling match. “It’s like an arm-wrestling that you win quickly,” the 28-year-old believes.

Against the others, Schwartzman feels even if his level drops slightly while he is in the zone, it could be enough to bag a win. At the same time, he will not take things lightly. “But you have to be neat and keep playing well, which is what happened to me against Zverev, against Thiem,” Schwartzman said.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 6, 2020 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman after winning their quarter final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Schwartzman recently lost quite comfortably to Alexander Zverev in the final of the ATP Cologne 2 event. Before that, he won an intense five-setter against Dominic Thiem at the French Open 2020. In a match that saw the momentum swing time and again, Schwartzman upped the ante at the right time.

Why it is difficult to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Schwartzman’s last three matches against Nadal (2) and Djokovic (1) are perfect examples of what Schwartzman meant. In the Italian Open quarter-finals against Nadal, Schwartzman played at his best level throughout the match and won 6-2, 7-5, against Nadal on clay.

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In the final, Shwartzman could not step it up despite playing very well. Djokovic eventually won rather comfortably with a 7-5, 6-3 scoreline.

Diego Schwartzman in action during his final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

At the French Open 2020, Schwartzman faced an upbeat Nadal in the semi-finals. Despite another good effort from the Argentine, Nadal was just able to keep his level up throughout, and this time the Spaniard won in straight sets.

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Schwartzman will now wait with bated breath for the ATP Finals draw, which separates the competitors into two groups. He will be keen to make a bigger statement in London.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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