Optimistic by nature and smiling like few others on the circuit, the smiling Diego Schwartzman arrived in Paris two weeks ago with a crooked face and his head bowed. Dull, unusually down. “The reality is that I am playing badly, and thus it is very difficult to win. I enter the field and things do not come out. The results are in sight, I can only keep working ”, said the world’s ten after a few days before, when he fell in the first round of Lyon, he burst a racket and left everyone speechless because his behavior is usually exemplary .
That day, the Buenosairean, summoned this Wednesday with Rafael Nadal in the third turn of the central (around 15:30, Eurosport), disappeared from the cartel at the first exchange after losing against Richard Gasquet; that is, identical performance to that previously offered in Monte Carlo (Casper Ruud), Madrid (Aslan Karatsev) and Rome (Felix-Augger Aliassime), with a slight upturn in Barcelona (third round, against Carreño) that does not make up for the Argentine’s downturn on a surface in which he enjoys and in which in recent years he has offered interesting records.
“Obviously, it was not my best tour on clay,” he showed at the gates of the great Parisian, where scale scale has been taking flight to offer a more recognizable version. A situation, in any case, not very suitable to approach his friend Nadal, with whom he will meet again in Paris after two previous duels: in the quarters of 2018 he was able to snatch a set from the Mallorcan, in a fragmented appointment in two days to As a result of the rain, and in the semifinals of last year, in which his resistance was much less despite the fact that a couple of weeks before he had beaten him at the Foro Italico.
Schwartzman (28 years old) tries to get out of the hole. He arrived at the tournament with only two wins and those three stumbles to the first, and to this he adds the stark reminder of the face to face with Nadal: 10-1 in favor of the Spanish, 5-1 on sand and 2-0 in Paris. “He is a very complicated adversary, it is always like that with Diego”, the champion of 20 majors is suspicious, with whom he usually shares with other tennis players soccer piques at the Play; “He comes with the confidence of having won four games, and I think also of a complicated time because the tour was perhaps not the best for him.”
Parallel paths: to ‘clean’ rooms
Although in very different dynamics, both face the pulse after completing a very similar route in the first week. None have yielded a single set, and Schwartzman has been regaining sensations in matches against Yen-hsun Lu, Aljaz Bedene, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Jan-Lennard Struff. Now, he warns, the present forces us to look at the sky of Paris – the forecasts are for 27 degrees, with some clouds – and the summer that accompanies this edition because, he emphasizes, it can have a decisive intervention.
“You have to be prepared because the conditions are very different from October, when it was cool and the brick dust was slow. Now, with the sun, the court is quite fast, the ball jumps a lot and then you have to be a little more aggressive, serve a little better ”, recipe Schwartzman, the fourth Argentine tennis player with the most wins (43) in the Grand Slams, for behind Guillermo Vilas (139), Juan Martín del Potro (97), David Nalbandian (86) and Juan Ignacio Chela (46); ahead of Guillermo Cañas (41).
“Last year those conditions were favorable to me, I could hold myself closer to the baseline and I was more comfortable. But now, he likes this faster, high-spike court; the ball comes out very fast, so I’m going to have to play further back at all points, so I’ll have to make as little mistakes as possible and shoot as much as possible ”, concludes El Peque.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.