Schwartzman sets up Djokovic showdown

Schwartzman sets up Djokovic showdown

Jewish Argentine through to face Serbian in third round at French Open

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Diego Schwartzman
Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman will face the world number two Novak Djokovic in the third round of the French Open.

The Argentine, who is the only Jewish singles players left at Roland Garros, is enjoying his best ever showing in Paris, the 24-year-old had failed to reach the third round in four previous attempts.

Having beaten Russian Andrey Rublev in a first round epic, winning the fifth and final set 9-7, his second round victory on Wednesday afternoon was a more routine affair, as he beat Italian Stefano Napolitano 6-3, 7-5, 6-2, in a little over two hours. Knowing he will have to up his game if he’s to cause an upset against Djokovic on Friday, he said “I need to improve everything against him. I need to improve and be focused on Thursday on my recovery with the legs, with my team, trying to fix my body to be perfect against Novak. And if nothing, I will try to play better than in my last two matches.

“I need to play more than 100 percent of my tennis to beat him. But I have confidence. It’s my second time playing on Philippe Chatrier and I will try to enjoy it. It’s the third round. I have matches already there and, if nothing, I try to enjoy it and play good tennis.”

Elsewhere at the tournament, Israel’s only senior competitor, Jonathan Erlich, is through to the second round of the doubles competition after he and Brazilian Andre Sa, beat Slovakian Martin Klizan and Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-3, 7-5. They next take on Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and American Donald Young, set to take place on Thursday.

Israel’s other representative will be in the junior event, where Yshai Olilel, who won the doubles tournament at the event last year, is set to compete during the second week.

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