On pure merit and after nine consecutive falls against the Spanish, “El Peque” defeated 6-2 and 7-5 the nine-time champion of this tournament and current defender of the crown.
September 19, 2020 Share on FacebookShare Share on TwitterTweet Share on WhatsAppShareThe best points of Schwartzman's triumph over Nadal
Diego Schwartzman achieved a historic triumph over Rafael Nadal at the Masters 1000 in Rome: he won 6-2 and 7-5 and won the ticket to the semifinals of the Italian tournament. It is the first time that he has prevailed against the Spanish in his career after losing nine other times .
The Argentine stayed with the first set with a 6-2 thanks to a solid performance and with a statistical data that graphs his level: the first break he made from the Spanish serve he did with a 0-40 . In total, he doubled Nadal's serve twice during that set and lifted a break against with the duel 1-2 against.
The second set started with two break chances, but there he couldn't do much and Nadal started out winning. The show of character was given in the next game by lifting a break against to level the start at 1-1. Although the greatest exponent of Argentine tennis achieved another break that allowed him to go to the front, Rafa quickly recovered to put the second quarter 4-4.
The situation was repeated immediately: Peque broke Rafa to zero and served to win the match. But on the other side, the hierarchy was felt and Nadal equated things 5-5 also with a break to zero .
There would be a rematch for the tennis player who holds three ATP titles in his career . He seized Nadal's serve and this time he did not miss the opportunity, as he did not even give his rival a break point. After putting the winning ball in, he celebrated with a shout into the air in which he unloaded all the heavy backpack that he carried in his history with the Spanish.
Diego Schwartzman defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 in Rome (Photo: Reuters)
The Rome Masters 1000 draw will have as its first semifinal the duel between Serbian Novak Djokovic and Norwegian Casper Ruud . The Argentine will now meet Canadian Denis Shapovalov .
El Peque , current owner of the 15th place in the world ranking, He arrived at this stage after beating Australian John Millman (6-4 and 7-6) in his debut: then he left the Polish Hubert Hurkacz (3-6, 6-2 and 6-4) on the road. His rival on this occasion, who came to the tournament with 200 days of inactivity, had triumphed against his compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta (6-1 and 6-1) and against Serbian Dusan Lajovic (6-1 and 6-3).
It should be noted that it is the third tournament since the restart of the pandemic for the 28-year-old Argentine tennis player after the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati (eliminated in the second round by local Reilly Opelka), the US Open (he said goodbye in his presentation after falling to Britain's Cameron Norrie) and Kitzbuhel's ATP 250 (lost in the quarterfinals to Laslo Djere).
Rafa arrived at this presentation as the number 2 in the world at 34 years old and without official activity in the restart of the pandemic . His last time was the Acapulco ATP 500 title in February of this year. That does not mean that he is the top winner on Italian soil with 9 crowns , or that he entered the tournament as a defending champion (he beat Novak Djokovic in the 2019 final in three sets).
Rafa had beaten the Argentine in all nine previous matches (Photo: Reuters)
Not a minor detail: the history between the two until today indicated that Nadal had a resounding 9-0 advantage in his favor since they crossed paths for the first time in 2013. The last time they had seen each other until now had been in the Davis Cup quarterfinals , when the Mallorca-born beat him 6-1 and 6-2. That had been the third of their matches in 2019 , as they also met in the quarterfinals of the US Open (6-4, 7-5 and 6-2) and at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 (6-3 and 6 -one).
This tournament in Italy had three Argentines raising the crown: Guillermo Vilas (1980), José Luis Clerc (1981) and Alberto Mancini (1989). It has been 15 years since an Albiceleste representative did not reach the final at least: Guillermo Coria fell in 2005 to Nadal , who began his hegemony in the Italian Masters 1000 that day.