Diego Schwartzman is an Argentinian tennis player who has famously put together a fine career for himself despite being considerably shorter than many of his peers.
Schwartzman stands just 5'7" tall, but has exquisite racquet control and timing which enable him to stand toe-to-toe with taller and stronger players. His ability to consistently punch above his weight has won him many fans all over the world.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 4th Round (2018)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2018)
Wimbledon: 2nd Round (2018)
US Open: Quarterfinalist (2017)
Highest Ranking: No. 11
Style of play
Schwartzman's height prevents him from playing outright offensive tennis, so he relies on his speed and timing to keep his opponents at bay.
Schwartzman hits a topspin forehand and a flat backhand, and can both attack and defend with his compact groundstrokes. He likes to use his opponent's pace against him, frequently re-directing a hard shot to gain the upper hand in a rally.
Schwartzman plays primarily from the baseline; he rarely ventures to the net.
Strengths and weaknesses
Schwartzman's biggest asset is his sense of timing. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and can hit the ball on the sweet spot of the racquet time and time again, in a manner that few others can.
The Argentine is equally confident off either wing, but looks to go around his backhand to hit a forehand when he gets a short ball. He can generate a fair bit of pace with both his forehand and backhand, and can push opponents behind the baseline with forceful drives.
Schwartzman has a world-class return of serve, aided by his superb reflexes and movement. He has been known to break the serves of even the tallest of players, using a combination of anticipation and timing to hit deep returns consistently.
Schwartzman is a very quick mover at the back of the court, and can defend incredibly well. He can also turn defense into offense in the blink of an eye, often surprising his opponents with his transition game.
Schwartzman's serve is his biggest weakness. Because of his height he is unable to hit it with a lot of power or consistency, which makes him liable to get broken very often.
Schwartzman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was named after the country's legendary footballer Diego Maradona.
His father Ricardo and mother Silvana were not in the best financial health while he was growing up, which made it difficult for him to pay for his equipment and traveling expenses. However, Silvana, a former tennis player, was determined for Diego to have a successful tennis career, and so undertook the business of selling rubber bracelets in order to pay for her son's training.
Schwartzman started playing tennis at the age of seven. Although he also dabbled in football at an early age, he decided to shift his focus completely to tennis when he was ten.
Schwartzman's height was always expected to be a problem, and when he was told by a doctor at the age of 13 that he would never grow taller than 5'7", he considered quitting the sport. However, his family convinced him to keep at it, and they have now been rewarded for their faith and perseverance.
At the 2017 US Open, Schwartzman became the shortest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since 1994, proving to everyone that height is no barrier when it comes to tennis success.