Will this be the week Diego Schwartzman breaks through for his first title on home soil?
The Argentine star reached the quarter-finals of the Cordoba Open on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-2 win against 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato. The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals competitor will next play fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas or qualifier Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
“I’m very, very happy. It’s my first clay-court match since Roland Garros, so it has been many months. [Then I spent] many months preparing for other surfaces,” Schwartzman said. “Coming back to my country and playing the first match on clay this year and playing like this was very nice for me. It’s a really good start.”
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Schwartzman needed three sets in his two previous victories against Cecchinato, but he only took 71 minutes to dispatch the Italian on Cancha Central. In their first ATP Head2Head meeting in the 2019 Buenos Aires final, Cecchinato won 6-1, 6-2.
“He beat me really easily. He really killed me that match,” Schwartzman said. “Coming back and playing with 500 people in the stadium was a very good start for me. I played good, aggressive tennis.”
The World No. 9, who now leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-1, won 58 per cent of his first-serve return points and broke Cecchinato’s serve five times to advance. Schwartzman fell one set short of lifting the Cordoba Open trophy last year. This edition, he will try to go one step further. The top seed is pursuing his first crown since 2019 Los Cabos.
Did You Know?
Last season was the best of Schwartzman’s career. The Argentine broke into the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time in October after reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.