Schwartzman ignoring Nadal hype

09 June 2021 00:06:21

Diego Schwartzman believes he has to ignore the fact he is playing 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in his French Open quarter-final this week if he is to progress to the last four.

Argentinian Schwartzman is?9/1 to beat his Spanish counterpart Nadal, who is?1/16 to come out on top in Paris.

Nadal is chasing a record 14th French Open title and has been red-hot in his pursuit, having won in straight sets against Alexei Popyrin, Richard Gasquet, Cameron Norrie and Jannik Sinner so far.

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That run follows the French Open third seed's victory at the Italian Open last month and his triumph in the Barcelona Open back in April.

The 35-year-old is ultimately showing no signs of fading on the slower surface and 10th seed Schwartzman recognises the challenge ahead of him.

But the Argentinian is also yet to drop a set at the Paris major this year and has placed the emphasis on his mentality going into the quarter-final encounter.

Schwartzman, who made the ATP World Tour finals last November only to lose all three of his group assignments, believes thinking about winning and his game tactics rather than Nadal on the other side of the court will be crucial to his chances.

Speaking ahead of his clash with Nadal, Schwartzman said: "I think at the beginning of every match against Rafa, you have to walk on the court thinking [about] winning the match, to have opportunities, to get opportunities.

"[It is important to] think about something else and not think about Rafa [being] on the other side of the net.

"You have to go on court, think about the tactics, think about how to play your best game."

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