Diego Schwartzman reaches French Open quarter-finals after stunning win

Diego Schwartzman reaches French Open quarter-finals after stunning win

Top-ranked Jewish tennis player fights back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson in epic clash

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Diego Schwartzman
Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman reached the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time in his career after he won a dramatic five-set classic against Kevin Anderson on Monday afternoon.

The Argentine, who’s currently ranked 12th in the world, seemed to be down and out, finding himself two sets down and with Anderson serving for the third set – and match – however he bounced back in incredible style, to win an epic clash on the Suzanne-Lenglen court.

Schwartzman was bidding to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career and went into the match having not dropped a set in the tournament.

But having lost the first two sets in comprehensive fashion, 6-1, 6-2, the match seemed to be heading for an early finish when he was broken in the third and facing Anderson as he was serving for the match. However, he claimed his second break of the match in the 12th game to clinch a mammoth set which lasted 55 minutes.

Both players started the fourth set nervously, with the first three games going against serve, while Schwartzman spurned break points to make it four. Anderson did break soon after to go 3-2 up, before holding his serve to take control. With no further breaks of serve, Anderson once more found himself serving out for the match – though Schwartzman stunningly broke back to level up the set at 5-5. An exchange of serve led to a tiebreak, which saw the Argentine dismantle Anderson, winning it 7-0, to take the match to a fifth and deciding set.

Schwartzman started the fifth set where he ended the fourth, breaking Anderson. However, neither player was able to ascertain control as the next four games all went against serve, before Schwartzman did claim the first hold in the sixth game to go 4-2 up. Breaking again a now obviously deflated Anderson, he served out the match to seal arguably his best ever performance. He will now take on Rafael Nadal on Wednesday for a place in the semi-finals.

In what proved to be an at times, heated and volatile clash, Schwartzman complained about a perceived lack of respect from his opponent, telling the umpire how he was upset when he celebrated one of his errors. At one change of ends, he told the umpire: “”How are you supposed to go every point saying, ‘Right here! Right here! Right here!’ Every point, I’ve never seen something like this. Never. I’ve never seen it. Never.

“Because even if he plays a good point or if I did a bad choice, he’s always saying something. Always. Shut up.

“Every point. He’s not respecting, you know. You’ve got to have some respect for the players. Because when I miss the ball, you need to be quiet. Not every point saying, ‘Come on’ … shut up.”

Elswwhere on Monday, Israeli interest in Paris was ended after Yshai Oliel, was beaten by Spaniard Carlos Lopez Montagud in the first round of the Boys junior event. Although winning the first set 6-1, he then lost the second and third 6-4, 6-3.

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