As happened to him on Monday in the round of 16, when he faced an opponent who had already been measured last year at Roland Garros, Jannik Sinner, Rafa Nadal will repeat in the quarterfinals the duel he had in the 2020 semifinals against Diego Schwartzman. It will be in the third turn of the Philippe Chatrier, around 3:00 p.m. (Eurosport), with more public than usual due to the reduction of the restrictions of the pandemic in Paris. And with sun and heat (27 degrees). An important factor, in the eyes of the 28-year-old Argentine and 10th in the world.

“It is difficult to beat Rafa, there are many factors that change over time. Last year, the conditions of the powder tour were a bit more favorable for me And he was perhaps a little more uncomfortable, because he likes the ball to be fast, to hit high, to be able to get the rival off the court. That didn't happen much then and I could hold myself on the line for a long time and that way I was a little more comfortable, “explains El Peque, as he is known in his country, with his Buenos Aires flair. In 2020 the tournament was played in November with cold and rainy days, and even so the Balearic won (6-3, 6-3 and 7-6 (0)), who was later champion. In 2021, the Grand Slam has returned to its usual spring dates, and that has come in handy for Nadal. Schwartzman sees it more complicated, if possible, to surprise the 13-time winner: “This year will be different, sunny days are coming, the ball in his hand will come out very quickly and I will surely play a lot of points., if he wins, several meters behind the court. So it is difficult to be able to do what you try when the ball is at your waist and it stings little ”.

However, Diego does not lose hope of repeating the feat that he carried out last year when he beat the Spanish in the quarterfinals of Rome: “Generally speaking, it is playing all the points, committing as few mistakes as possible and when you have the ball, shoot as hard as possible.” At the moment, he loses 10-1 in a very negative face-to-face like the one that many of his compatriots have with Nadal, who has faced 23 Argentines in his career and his balance against them is 86 victories and 17 defeats.

I respect

The one from Manacor has never lost respect for Schwartzman: “It is always difficult to play against Diego and now he is recovered after a clay season that was not being good for him (he had a 2-5 record since Monte Carlo)So I'll have to play like Sinner if I want to have a chance of winning. ” Nadal will attempt to qualify for his 14th semi-final in Paris, the 35th among the four majors. If he reaches the penultimate round, he could meet Novak Djokovic, whom he beat in the last final at Roland Garros. If the Serbian is capable of beating the Italian Matteo Berrettini.

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