Schwartzman fights on
Originally published on 03/09/17 00:00
This time, though, it’s a tennis player making waves in his homeland.
Diego Schwartzman was so determined to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam for the first time that not even a leg injury was going to prevent him.
The hard-working Argentinian played through the pain barrier as he emerged victorious from a topsy-turvy clash with Lucas Pouille 7-6(3) 7-5 2-6 6-2.
Schwartzman took a medical timeout for a right leg issue in the third set and the concern etched across his face indicated he would be unable to complete the good work he had started.
The 25-year-old appeared to move more freely in the fourth set though, and he was able to take it by six games to two – partly due to the erratic play of his French opponent.
“I’m not sure what happened with my leg,” admitted the concerned Argentinian, who took out Marin Cilic in the previous round. “It’s really painful but I’m really happy to be in the quarter-finals for the first time. I don’t know how I won, but I’m so happy that I did.
“I think I played my best match today because I did everything well. Lucas is an aggressive player but I did many good things although I need to improve for the next match.”
Schwartzman will take on Pablo Carreno Busta for a spot in the last four. The Spaniard proved to be too consistent for the skillful teen, Denis Shapovalov, and was a 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 7-6(3) winner.
Reflecting on his New York adventure, Shapovalov said: “It was so much fun to be involved in that atmosphere in that match. These two weeks has been another life-changing event for me. The biggest lesson I take from this is that I’m able to compete with these guys – but I still have a lot of work to do.
“It’s only been two tournaments but I really feel this off-season I need to put in a lot of work to secure my spot in the rankings so I can compete with these top guys week and week out.”
Kevin Anderson made it through to the quarter-finals for the second time in three years. The big-serving South African unleashed 18 aces as he dismissed Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 6-3 6-7(4) 6-4.
"It was really tough," admitted Anderson. "I started really well and imposed my game but I've known Paolo for a while and he is a teriffic fighter and he never gives in. He runs for everything and he really pushed me, so I had to dig deep. It feels absolutely fantastic to get through tonight's match."