“I Try Not to Respect Them”: Diego Schwartzman on Facing Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Published 09/21/2020, 12:44 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman reacts after winning his semi final match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov Pool via REUTERS//Clive Brunskill


World No.15 Diego Schwartzman has reached his first-ever ATP Masters 1000 final. Schwartzman defeated the Canadian Denis Shapovalov in a thrilling three-set match in the semifinal of the Italian Open 2020.

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Despite losing the second set, Schwartzman won an epic tiebreaker in the third set to close out the match in 3 hours and 15 minutes.

It’s been an extraordinary week for Diego, who ousted the defending champion, Rafael Nadal, in the quarterfinals in Rome. The Argentine beat Nadal for the first time in his career, having previously lost in all their nine encounters.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in action during his semi final match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov Pool via REUTERS//Clive Brunskill

During the post-match interview, Schwartzman showed his respect for the Big-3. He emphasized that he wasn’t able to utilize his chances against them in the past, something he turned around this time.

“Rafa, Nole and Roger, I respect them deeply, they are the greatest in the history of tennis. But when I come on the court, I try not to respect them. In the past, I have often played well, but I didn’t take my chances. Now I did.” said Schwartzman.

Schwartzman : "Rafa, Nole et Roger, je les respecte profondément, ce sont les plus grands de l'histoire du tennis. Mais quand j'entre sur le court, j'essaye de ne pas les respecter. Par le passé, j'ai souvent bien joué mais je n'ai pas saisi ma chance. Désormais, je l'ai fait."

— Quentin Moynet (@QuentinMoynet) September 20, 2020

Schwartzman is the first Argentine to reach the Rome final since Guillermo Coria in 2005. The 28-year-old is eyeing his maiden Masters 1000 title and will enter the Top-10 in rankings if he wins the Italian Open.

Diego Schwartzman to face World No.1 in final

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his semi final match against Norway’s Casper Ruud Pool via REUTERS/Riccardo Antimiani

Novak Djokovic is a win away from a record-breaking 36th Masters 1000 crown. The Serbian has had an easy run at the Italian Open and will face Schwartzman in the finals.

The duo has played four times against each other, with Djokovic leading 4-0. The No.1 seed defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets in the semifinals to enter his 52nd Masters 1000 final.

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The 17-time Grand Slam champion last played Schwartzman in the Italian Open semifinal last year, winning in three sets.

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Kshitij Tayal

352 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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