Schwartzman Stuns Thiem
Dogged Argentine Diego Schwartzman simply does not know how to surrender. The 24 year old saved four match points to pull off a remarkable 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 upset of No. 3 seed Dominic Thiem on Tuesday night.
“It was a really intense match as we know each other really well, having played three times before – twice on clay courts,” said Schwartzman. “I knew I needed to play really well to beat him and today I played at 100 per cent. I saved this match, I don’t know how I did it. I was a little lucky, but then focused solely on the point – not thinking it was a match point.”
After an impressive start in which he found himself up a set and a break, the No. 36 in the Emirates ATP Rankings looked to have botched his lead when Thiem levelled the match on his fifth set point of the second-set tie-break.
The 23-year-old Austrian looked to have turned the tables when he surged to 5-2 in the deciding set. But Schwartzman was not done yet. He saved two match points on serve at 3-5, another when Thiem served for the match and a fourth when he was serving to stay alive for 5-5.
With the momentum swing now well in his favour, Schwartzman broke to serve for the match. But the nerves soon took hold. A wayward double fault did not help his cause as he slipped behind 0-40. But this was not to be Thiem’s day.
Schwartzman reeled off the last five points of the match to inflict Thiem’s fourth straight Coupe Rogers loss at the first hurdle.
The Austrian’s 67 unforced errors and eight doubles faults made for a tough night. It was Schwartzman’s first defeat of a Top 10 opponent in the Emirates ATP Rankings in 14 attempts.
Earlier, Jack Sock rallied from a break down in the opening set to post a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The American sent down five aces and saved all five break points in the one-hour, 28-minute affair.