Diego Schwartzman’s French Open was ended on Thursday afternoon after he was beaten in four sets by the world number one Rafael Nadal.
The eventual 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 scoreline didn’t though tell the whole story of the match which was played over two days due to rain.
Having started on Wednesday afternoon, the Argentine, ranked 12 in the world, was the better of the two players, and found himself a set up and then break up in the second, before the rain came down – which ultimately would prove to be a deciding factor.
Schwartzman’s task was a momentous one. Not only had he been beaten in the previous five meetings between the two, Nadal hadn’t lost a match at Roland Garros since 2015.
However, despite the huge underdog status, Schwartzman started the brighter of the two, and even spurned six break points in Nadal’s first service game. He didn’t though spurn the opportunity in his second, and took an early 2-1 lead. Breaking him again to go 4-3 up, he then confidently served out the set – the first time Nadal had lost one at the tournament since 2015.
The second set began with an exchange of serve, before Schwartzman broke Nadal in the third game, only to be broken back. Another break put him 3-2 up, before the rain intervened, and what would prove to be, Schwartzman’s chances of providing an upset.
The break certainly worked to Nadal’s benefit, with the restart seeing him break Schwartzman in his next two service games, leaving him to to serve out for the set – but at 30-15, more rain postponed the match until Thursday morning.
The resumption saw Nadal claim the next two points to tie up the match and the momentum was well and truly with him when he broke Schwartzman in the first game of the third set. Breaking him again with a delicious drop shot, Nadal soon found himself 4-1 up, before serving out the third set, taking it 6-2.
The fourth set saw Nadal break Schwartzman’s second service game to take a 2-1 lead, and held off a break point, to consolidate his lead to 3-1. Another break pushed it out to 4-1, before he held again for 5-1. Schwartzman then found himself serving to stay in the match, which he did, but Nadal completed the victory in the following game.