Diego Schwartzman is now just two wins from claiming his first ATP Tour title on home soil in Argentina.
The top seed beat 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Jaume Munar 6-2, 7-5 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Argentina Open. Schwartzman is into the Buenos Aires semi-finals for the third consecutive year.
“It’s special. It’s an emotional week for me. Obviously it’s a different week. I’m always trying to win, but here I’m always trying to enjoy every single point and I’m really, really happy,” Schwartzman said. “One more time I can be in the semi-finals… I hope to be ready tomorrow.”
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The World No. 9 saved all three break points he faced and won 92 per cent of his second-serve points to triumph after one hour and 51 minutes. Schwartzman had the superior firepower on Court Guillermo Vilas. Although Munar battled incredibly hard, leaving the Argentine in laughter after scrambling to save his fourth match point, the home favourite was too good on the evening.
“At the end I was just smiling with his coach because it was a difficult end. I couldn’t win the point at the end because he was always coming with another ball, another lob, another slice, another passing shot. I think at the end he hit a double fault and made a mistake on a volley,” Schwartzman said. “He didn’t deserve that finish because he was playing very good and always trying to keep pushing.”
Schwartzman now leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head series 3-0. The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals competitor will next play Miomir Kecmanovic, against whom he only lost four games at Roland Garros last year.
Kecmanovic eliminated fellow Serbian Laslo Djere 6-4, 7-6(6) in two hours and 10 minutes. The World No. 42 saved seven of the nine break points he faced.
“He’s very difficult to play on clay. I know him very well, so I knew it was going to be tough, but I just tried not to rush,” Kecmanovic said. “I tried to wait for my chances. I went in thinking, ‘If I have to play five hours, I’ll play five hours.’ But I’m not going to give him anything. It worked pretty well in the end.”