It is a fact that Diego Schwartzman is the shortest player ranked in the top 100 standing at 1.68m. Yet, he has been able to turn that disadvantage into a great display. Schwartzman has defeated three top ten players: Thiem in Canada, Cilic at the US Open and Anderson at Roland Garros. These triumphs catapulted him to his best ATP ranking to date, #11 in the world.
Further, one of the greatest matches he has played so far occurred last season on Philippe Chatrier; he took a set off of the best player in clay court history: Rafael Nadal. On a cloudy afternoon, in the quarterfinal, he won the first set 6-4 (the only set that the Spanish had lost on his way to take the championship). He was up a break in the second set, 3-2; then the rain appeared in Paris causing a suspension of play. Later, the Mallorcan made a comeback and won the match 4-6, 6-3,6-2,6-2.
The changes in Diego’s game can be credited to his coach, Juan Ignacio Chela (former ATP #15). Since 2017, the former member of the Argentine “Legion” modified aspects of both his tennis game and the mental confidence, strength aspect to transform him into an all-around elite player.
With this, Schwartzman has obtained regularity (this was his first year playing in all nine of the Master 1000 tournaments ). He improved his volleys to be able to close the points and he has turned into one of the best returners on the circuit (classified just of behind Rafa). Another essential aspect in his game that has improved was the mental aspect; he has learned to “change the page” quickly without being “stuck” on unexpected defeats.
Since teaming up with Chela, he can now beat players ranked inside of the top ten. Additionally, he has climbed up to a ranking well in the top twenty. Before Chela, he had only won 31 total matches on the circuit; now, in just one year (2017), he has won 39 matches.
The “Shorty”, who was born in Buenos Aires 27 years ago, has won two ATP titles (Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro) and has reached fourth round at both Roland Garros and The US Open. However, in order for him to play at the professional level, he had to sell tickets (alongside his family) at different junior tournaments to cover expenses and overcome the economic crisis in his country. He is a fanatic of Boca and Riquelme, an admirer of David Ferrer, and works with fitness trainer Martiñano Orazín who “sculpted” Del Potro.
“He still has no limit”, Schwartzman’s coach told the media. Among his next obstacles is to improve his level on hardcourt. That is why he will be coming to Los Cabos: to start to get used to a faster pace after the clay court tour. And, to take control. The little giant, has what it takes. Don’t miss it.
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