What's the story?
Argentina's Diego Schwartzman recently discussed his encounters with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In the interview, he spoke highly of both players and explained how facing off against the two legends was a helpful lesson.
In case you didn't know...
Federer and Nadal are regarded as the two greatest players ever and the two most popular as well. They have had a terrific rivalry over the years which has seen the two being involved in some of the most memorable matches ever, the last being Federer's victory against the Spaniard at Wimbledon this year.
The heart of the matter
Schwartzman initially discussed his first meeting with Federer by recounting:
"It was the first time I was playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam, I was cracking the top 100, I was able to win the first round and as a reward I faced Federer."
Schwartzman reiterated the benefits of playing Federer so early on in the tournament by adding that the "match was very useful". Federer defeated Schwartzman in a clean straight-sets decision, but the Argentine certainly learned a lot from the match.
Schwartzman then moved on to discussing his encounters with Nadal, where he has repeatedly taken sets off the Spaniard. He remarked:
"In Australia (2018), I won a set but it was a great match."
The French Open match between the two players that same year was expected to be one-sided, but Schwartzman surprisingly gave a tough fight and took a set again.
"At the French Open after one set it started raining. He could have beaten me also if it did not rain. He is a great competitor, one of the best in history and I learn from him all the time," Schwartzman added.
Playing against the greatest players of any sport is always a special moment for up-and-coming players, and it appears that is how Schwartzman felt as well. Despite losing to Federer and Nadal on every occasion, being up close with the most elite players is always a valuable learning opportunity.
Schwartzman could well take enough lessons from his past matches against the two and go on to defeat them in the future, because he certainly has the game to do so.Published 10 Dec 2019, 17:38 IST