Second win for Schwartzman, Dimitrov’s hopes dangling

Worrying times for Grigor – but a sensational second win of the day for Schwartzman, showing his prowess and finesse on clay

Diego Schwartzman

UTS4, GROUP A

Schwartzman beat Dimitrov 13-14, 12-10, 17-9, 15-10

  • What happened: El Peque picked up his second win of the day.
  • You will also learn: How Grigor Dimitrov’s hopes of progressing past the group stage took another blow.
  • Why you should read this: Schwartzman made his intentions of winning UTS4 very clear in a superlative display.

El Peque Diego Schwartzman moved to the top of Group A as he dished out Grigor Dimitrov’s second defeat of the day.

Dimitrov has only one win at a UTS event despite participating in two editions of the competition now – and looks set to exit UTS4 at the group stage tomorrow.

The Argentinian acknowledged the impact a successive loss would have on his rival, saying afterwards: “He’s a very good competitor and is always trying to win. When you’re not able to play your best tennis and win, it’s a sad day.”

Dimitrov downcast

Although the Bulgarian was clearly downcast, there was plenty for him to take heart from.

This encounter was intriguingly tight in the opening exchanges – albeit punctuated with Dimitrov’s racquet giving him trouble courtesy of two broken strings.

It was locked at 12-12 with four seconds to go – but Dimitrov benefited from a fortunate bounce to move ahead. As the siren sounded, Schwartzman won the rally to force a deciding point – but couldn’t get his first serve over the net, gifting the quarter to his opponent.

And it was equally close in the second quarter, with Schwartzman one point up thanks to a brilliant winner down the line as the siren sounded – and he doubled that lead as Dimitrov snatched at a shot and sent it into the net. El Peque took the quarter 12-10 to level up.

Schwartzman capitalised on his momentum in the third quarter, and it looked like a quarter won by KO was imminent as he enjoyed a nine-point lead. But Dimitrov fought back, using his cards wisely to close the gap – even though Schwartzman still took it 17-9.

And the world No 10 rounded off the victory by taking the fourth quarter 15-10.

‘I wasn’t myself’: Schwartzman

The 28-year-old admitted later that his form coming into UTS4 had not been as good as he would have liked – but hopes his time at the Mouratoglou Academy will make him sharper.

“I wasn’t solid in the baseline, I wasn’t myself on court,” said Schwartzman. “I’m trying to come back with confidence, play matches, play points, and competition is better than practice for me.”

And he was not shy about declaring his intention of claiming the thunderbolt trophy.

“Always when I come in a competition I try to win,” he added. “This is no different. I hope to be ready tomorrow and play a few good matches.”

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