Diego Schwartzman is finally into a Grand Slam semifinal… And, he did it against a difficult opponent.
The 28-year-old Argentine professional tenista played through the wind and rain, and into the dark of night, at the French Open, contesting a total of 376 points spread out across five sets and 5 hours, 8 minutes on Tuesday night, to outlast Dominic Thiem.
In the process, Schwartzman finally won a Grand Slam quarterfinal after failing in three previous tries.
Schwartzman, who at one point was two points from defeat against Thiem, the U.S. Open champion and two-time runner-up at Roland Garros, found his way and emerged with a 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory by taking the last four games.
“I was just so nervous, because I saw the chance today,” said the 12th-seeded Schwartzman.
He called his advancement into his first major semifinal “a big step.”
“At the end, this night, I deserved to win,” Schwartzman said with a chuckle.
Thiem said as much, too, about his friend after a grueling contest in which more than 100 of the points lasted at least nine strokes — frequently going past 20 or even 30 shots.
Schwartzman next will face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal. He beat the former World No. 1 at a clay-court tune-up event in Rome last month.