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Diego Schwartzman dreams of beating Roger Federer in an Indian Wells final, says Rome win over Rafael Nadal is his best at Masters level

Diego Schwartzman
Diego Schwartzman
Gauri Awasthi

After losing in the third round of the Tokyo Olympics last month, Diego Schwartzman is back in action this week at the National Bank Open in Toronto. A former quarterfinalist, Schwartzman would be hoping to better his record at the Canadian event, which is returning to the ATP calendar after two years.

In a recent interview with ATPTour.com, the Argentine did a round-up of his favorite memories and matches from the various Masters 1000 tournaments. He began by naming Rome as his favorite host city for a Masters event.

Diego Schwartzman made his maiden Masters final in the Italian capital last year, where he lost to top seed Novak Djokovic.

"I am going to choose Rome because I did so well [there in the] past two years and I love the city," Schwartzman said. "It is like the chicken and the egg. Maybe because I enjoy the city, I have a good tournament or maybe I enjoy the city because I am winning matches."

The World No. 14 further reminisced about his Masters debut, which happened at Indian Wells back in 2015. He was able to progress to the second round where he was defeated by eventual finalist Roger Federer in straight sets.

"In Indian Wells [in 2015], I knew before the match that Roger Federer was [waiting] in the second round. It was a special match against [Jerzy] Janowicz," Schwartzman said. "He was doing very well at that time… It was a very tough match, but I won 7-6 in the third set and I was really nervous at the end."

Schwartzman went on to to reveal that beating Roger Federer in a final at Indian Wells is his ultimate Masters dream.

"Q: What is your dream match at a Masters 1000 (who would you play & at which tournament)?"

Diego Schwartzman: "Indian Wells, beating Roger in the final."
Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman after their match at the 2020 Italian Open
Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman after their match at the 2020 Italian Open

When asked about his best Masters 1000 win, Diego Schwartzman named his quarterfinal victory over Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open last year. The Spaniard was bidding for his record 11th title in Rome, but Schwartzman pulled off a terrific effort to register his maiden win over Nadal.

"Rafa last year in Rome," the Argentine said. "I was not playing my best tennis from the start of the [tour resumption] and I arrived to the match against Rafa trying to be able to play good tennis and feel good on court again."
"I was able to play my best tennis ever," he added. "That match was special… I was able to take every chance he gave me in the match. It was a perfect match and obviously, against Rafa on clay, it was special."

"In Rome last year against Shapovalov, it was a crazy match" - Diego Schwartzman on his toughest match at a Masters event

Diego Schwartzman
Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman further revealed that his semifinal victory over Denis Shapovalov at Rome last year has been his toughest ever at the Masters level. Shapovalov was a break up in the third set of that match, but Schwartzman clawed his way back to eke out a deciding tiebreaker after more than three hours of intense play.

"In Rome last year against Shapovalov, it was a crazy match," Schwartzman said. "He served for the match and I won 7-6 in the third. After that, I was able to be in the top 10 for the first time [for] Roland Garros."
"We were both playing such good tennis," he added. "When you are feeling good, with good timing and good conditions, and you are able to play good tennis, sometimes you forget everything."

Diego Schwartzman also mentioned how compatriot Juan Martin Del Potro's triumph over Roger Federer in the final of Indian Wells 2018 is the best match he's seen at a Masters event:

"I think the one I really remember was Juan Martin del Potro coming back against Roger," Schwartzman said. "He was able to come back from [three] match points down… against Roger in Indian Wells, [which Roger] won many times."
"It was a crazy match and I was watching it on TV," he added. "[It was] Delpo’s first time winning there and he was coming back from the injuries. It was special for him and Argentine tennis."

Diego Schwartzman is set to commence his campaign at the National Bank Open in Toronto this week against either Mackenzie McDonald or Benoit Paire.


Edited by Musab Abid

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