French Open: Diego Schwartzman upsets Dominic Theim
Schwartzman celebrates his victory (Photo: Clive Brunskill)

It took five hours and eight minutes but Diego Schwartzman is through to the Semi-Finals of the French Open. He beat his good friend and world number three Dominic Thiem.

A tight start for both :

The world number three started the match on serve and was put under pressure early from the Argentine as he faced a breakpoint early. He saved it with a big ace and would proceed to serve three more aces to win the first game of the match.

The world number 14 responded in the next game with a love service game and it would stay on serve until 3-2 when the Austrian earned two breakpoints with a backhand return winner.

The number three seed would end up breaking on a very questionable call from the chair umpire to take a 4-2 lead. The Buenos Aires native had a chance to break to go back on serve when he won a point at the net with a great volley winner.

He would end up breaking to go back on serve at 4-3 and managed to hold his next service game to make it 4-4. The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker and the Argentine started the stronger of the two winning five points in a row.

He would win the breaker 7-1 to take the first 7-6.

Dominic Thiem returning a forehand Photo Credit TPN
Dominic Thiem returning a forehand Photo Credit TPN

The Austrian response :

The first game of the second set was almost identical to the first game of the first set except it was the world number three who would have early breakpoints on the Argentine serve. He would end breaking and holding to take a 2-0 lead.

It stayed on serve until 3-2 when Schwartzman had two breakpoints and Thiem would double fault to give the break back and go back on serve at 3-3. The 27-year-old would have three break points at 4-4 but the 28-year-old would save all three hitting three winners from the back of the court.

Schwartzman would survive a 22 point that game that lasted over 15 minutes to hold serve and make it 5-4. The Austrian would hold serve to make it 5-5  and then had more chances to break and would break to take a 6-5 lead with a stunning backhand winner. 

He would serve it out to take the second set 7-5 and we would go into the third set tied at one set apiece.

A back and forth third set :

Just like the second set, the Austrian had breakpoints in the first game of the set setting them up with another amazing backhand down the line. He would break once again to take an early 1-0 lead and put pressure once again on the Argentine.

The world number 14 responded immediately getting two breakpoints of his own in the next service and broke to once again put the set back on serve at 1-1. After the Argentine held serve he would set up more breakpoints winning a 36 shot rally and breaking the next point with a superb forehand winner to make it 3-1.

The lead didn't last long as the Austrian came back in the next game and broke right back to send the set once again on serve at 2-3. Both players held their next service games at and 4-3 once again it was Schwartzman who had a chance to take the lead with a couple more breakpoints.

Diego Schwartzman returning a forehand Photo Credit Shaun Botterill
Diego Schwartzman returning a forehand Photo Credit Shaun Botterill

He would break to make it 5-3 playing aggressive tennis and forcing the error from his Austrian opponent. It was clearly going back and forth as the Argentine couldn't hold serve and was broken again to make it 5-4.

We reached 5-5 in the third set and the match had already reached three hours and we knew this was going to be a marathon match. Thiem would break again to take a 6-5 lead as he was doing a good job forcing the errors from his Argentinian opponent.

Once again the player who broke couldn't hold serve and for the second time, the set needed to be decided by a tiebreaker. Thiem jumped out to a 5-1 lead and it looked like he was on his way to a two sets to one lead.

The Argentine gave a bit of a pushback bringing the breaker to 6-6 but would miss his next shot giving the Austrian a setpoint. He made no mistake on that one playing a great point and finishing at the net with a big smash to take the breaker 8-6 and the third set 7-6.

The comeback :

Theim was looking to close out the match in four hard-fought sets and once again got the early break and would break once again with a big overhead at the net to take a 2-0 lead. Schwartzman quickly responded in the next game earning a break forcing the error to break and would hold serve to make it 2-2.

The Austrian hit two errors in a row the next game to give the break to the Argentine for a 3-2 lead. Each player would hold serve and at this point, it was 5-4 Schwartzman serving for the fourth set and the match had already surpassed 4 hours.

The world number 14 had three set points and Thiem would save all three of them including the last one with another forehand down the line winner. He would earn a breakpoint to make it 5-5 with a perfectly placed drop shot.

The next point he would force the unforced error from the Argentine to even the set at five. Both players held serve and once again for the third time we headed to a breaker. The world number three would take an early 3-1 lead but would lose the next two points to make it 3-3.

The rest of the breaker was on serve until we reached 6-5 for Schwartzman and he would win the fourth set tiebreaker when Thiem hit a shot out to send the match to a deciding fifth set.

The decider :

The fifth and deciding set went on serve until 3-2 when the Buenos Aires native had three breakpoints and would break to take a 4-2 lead once again forcing the error from the world number three. He would be able to hold to make it 5-2 and was one game away from the semi-finals. 

At the five-hour and seven-minute mark of the match, Schwartzman had his first match point and he would win the match with a stellar forehand to take it in five sets and cause the upset.

Diego Schwartzman pulls off the upset photo credit Julian Finney
Diego Schwartzman pulls off the upset photo credit Julian Finney

He will now face the winner of the Rafael Nadal vs Jannik Sinner Quarter-Final.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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