PARIS – Diego Schwartzman played through the wind and rain, and into the dark of night, against Dominic Thiem at the French Open, contesting a total of 376 points spread out across five sets and 5 hours, 8 minutes, knowing all the while he'd never won a match of this magnitude.
And so, as he kept wasting chances to seize control of their quarterfinal Tuesday night, kept letting sets slip away, Schwartzman yelled at himself or at his coaches, put his hands on his hips or smirked at his mistakes.
Then, two points from defeat against the U.S. Open champion and two-time runner-up at Roland Garros, Schwartzman found his way and emerged with a 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2 victory Tuesday by taking the last four games against a fading Thiem.
“I mean, we both gave everything,” said the No. 3-seeded Thiem, who is good friends with Schwartzman. “The thing in tennis is that there is one loser, one winner. Despite (being) so disappointed, I’m still happy for him.”
The 12th-seeded Schwartzman next will face 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, whose 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 victory over 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy didn't start until after 10:30 p.m. and didn't finish until nearly 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
A reporter wanted to know whether Schwartzman would be watching Nadal vs. Sinner.
“For sure, I’m going to be awake,” said Schwartzman, who defeated Nadal at a clay-court tuneup in Rome last month. “It’s going to be tough to sleep.”
The 28-year-old from Argentina entered his match against Thiem with an 0-3 record in major quarterfinals. He acknowledged that weighed on him.