Diego Schwartzman believes men's tennis' 'Big 3' are indeed the Big-3 beyond the sport as well, terming them as 'unmatched competitors' on a grander scale beyond tennis. The Argentinian considers Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic to be a rare breed of athletes in sporting history.
Schwartzman has played the three greats on numerous occasions in the past and recognized the enormity of the challenge of facing them at the highest level. S
"They are three unmatched competitors at a sporting level, not only in tennis. There are very few sports that have this kind of athletes," Schwarztman said.
When asked to pick 'the best player in tennis history' among the three, Schwartzman refused to pick just one name. The 29-year-old appreciates the opportunity to face Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic every now and then, getting to learn from three players who have won a combined 62 Grand Slam titles between them.
"I always answer the same. The nicest thing that happened to me is being able to compete and be contemporary with them, see them on and off the pitch, train with them," Schwartzman expressed.
He then explained why he chose not to name just one of the three players as the 'G.O.A.T' in tennis, appreciating their uniqueness.
"It is very difficult to choose one because precisely when you meet them you realize how different they are, both on and off the field. That makes many people like one and many people another. Being a fellow tennis player the same thing happens," continued the Argentine.
Schwartzman's most recent match against a Big-3 member was at the 2022 French Open, when he faced Novak Djokovic in the 4th round. Despite being regarded as a claycourt specialist, Schwartzman could not match up to Djokovic's game on the day, losing 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
The Argentine has faced Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer a combined 23 times, winning just once. The victory came against Nadal at the 2020 Italian Open.
"Getting closer to the Top-10 again" - Diego Schwartzman outlines his goals for 2022 season
Diego Schwartzman did not have the best of starts to his season, losing in the second round of the Australian Open. However, he has found decent form as the season progressed, reaching two finals (Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires) among other strong results.
Going forward, he expects more from himself in future tournaments, particularly at the Masters events.
"The objective that I always set in my head is to try to improve what I did the previous year . Today in the ATP Race I am doing it, improving the current ranking, so hopefully I can finish higher than I am, getting closer to the Top 10 again," Diego Schwartzman said of his goals for 2022.
"I know that I still have to play better in some big tournaments, especially in the Masters 1000, where maybe I didn't get the points that I had planned in my head, like in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome," he added.
He started the year as the World No. 13 and is currently ranked No. 15. Schwartzman is scheduled to play at the Queen's Club tournament in London this week, where he faces American Sam Querrey in his first match.
He will soon turn his focus to Wimbledon, which has been his least successful Major historically. His best result at SW19 is a third-round appearance (in 2019 and 2021).