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"Rafael Nadal is the king, Roland Garros is his house" - Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal at the 2019 French Open
Rafael Nadal at the 2019 French Open
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Modified 25 Sep 2020, 12:21 IST
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Diego Schwartzman has been one of the most consistent performers on the ATP Tour over the past few years. However, it was at the just-concluded ATP Masters Series event in Rome that the Argentine had the biggest result of his career. The 28-year-old Schwartzman defeated Rafael Nadal for the first time in 10 meetings at the quarterfinal stage, and then went on to reach his first ATP Masters Series final.

Schwartzman has reached the quarterfinals at the French Open once and the last eight at the US Open on two occasions, but had never beaten any of the Big 3 before last week. Understandably, the Argentine is incredibly happy with his performance in Rome, and believes it will provide him with a lot of confidence for the upcoming French Open.

 Rafael Nadal of Spain and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the Internazionali BNL d
 Rafael Nadal of Spain and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome
“Everything is positive… We are playing every single day here. I played [Saturday night] against Rafael Nadal, going to sleep at 2:00 a.m." Schwartzman said after losing in the final to Novak Djokovic.
"[This morning] going to sleep at 1:00 a.m. And today again. For us it's a classic tournament on clay, playing many hours, not resting. Six days [rest] for us is like a year. We have a lot of days... to recover. But I also have a lot of confidence. So I just have positive things this week,” he added.
: Runner-up Diego Schwartzman and winner Novak Djokovic with their trophies at the Internazionali BNL d
: Runner-up Diego Schwartzman and winner Novak Djokovic with their trophies at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome

After taking an early lead in the final, Schwartzman was not able to maintain the momentum. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic made a stirring comeback to take the first set, and then again recovered from a break down in the second to eventually win in straights.

 "I think today I played a great match [from] the baseline and I did many good things," Schwartzman said. "The first set, maybe the start of the second, I was [in] control — not control of the match, but doing what I wanted to do on court — playing aggressive, playing solid with good movements. I had the chances like when I played against Rafa. But today was that kind of day [where] you don't take the chances and at the end, Novak is Novak. The last three, four games he played unbelievable.”

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 

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Rafael Nadal is always there, the guy who is going to win: Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the trophy following the men
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the trophy following the men's singles final at the 2019 French Open

Looking ahead to the 2020 French Open, Schwartzman asserted that despite the earlier-than-expected loss in Rome, Rafael Nadal will continue to remain the top favorite at the Roland Garros.

"Rafael Nadal is the king. It's his house," Schwartzman said. "He went to Roland Garros many years playing good, sometimes not playing his best and he won. He won 12 times. I think Rafa is always there, the guy who is going to win. But Dominic, Novak, many guys are arriving, playing good matches on clay."

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Published 22 Sep 2020, 13:26 IST
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