ATP

'I don't remember anything like this before' – Schwartzman through in Rio after memorable Martinez battle

By Sports Desk February 17, 2022

Diego Schwartzman felt he played "an almost perfect match" to overcome Pedro Martinez in straight sets and reach the quarter-finals of the Rio Open.

The third seed advanced with a 6-1 6-1 victory, though that does not quite tell the whole story as the second game of the first set lasted a mammoth 24 minutes and 40 seconds.

Martinez saved eight break points in that lengthy game before finally being outdone by Schwartzman, who will now face another Spaniard in Pablo Andujar.

Incredibly, Martinez won 31 points in the first set but just one game.

"It was unbelievable," Schwartzman said. "This was probably the longest game in the history of the tournament 

"I don't remember anything like this before. I played an almost perfect match, I played against an opponent that had as much confidence as me."

Andujar beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5 5-7 6-3, while fourth seed Pablo Carreno-Busta lost 5-7 6-4 6-3 to Fabio Fognini in the shock of the day.

Federico Coria awaits Fognini after following up his surprise win over defending champion Cristian Garin with a 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-4 victory against Fernando Verdasco.

At the Delray Beach Open, top seed Cameron Norrie beat Oscar Otte 6-3 7-5 and will face Sebastian Korda, who saw off Andreas Seppi 7-5 6-3, for a place in the semi-finals.

Tommy Paul and Stefan Kozlov are also through to the final eight in Florida after beating Denis Istomin and Steve Johnson respectively in straight sets.

Related items

  • 'I have great memories' - Murray in reflective mood after French Open exit 'I have great memories' - Murray in reflective mood after French Open exit

    Andy Murray admits he has "great memories" of the French Open, after what was likely to be his final appearance in the men's singles at Roland Garros.

    The three-time grand slam winner, back at the season's second major for the first time since 2020, was comfortably beaten in straight sets by 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka, who ran out a commanding 6-4 6-4 6-2 victor.

    Murray, who gave an extended wave to the crowd as he exited Court Philippe-Chatrier, has repeatedly said he is approaching the end of his career, revealing in February that he does not "plan on playing much past this summer".

    And the 2016 runner-up was in a reflective mood after the conclusion of his 12th singles campaign at the French Open, where he also reached four semi-finals and a further two quarter-finals.

    "I did really well here over the years," he said. "I think the issue for me is that when you compare it to what Rafa [Nadal] or Novak [Djokovic] achieved in the same time, it obviously is minuscule," Murray said.

    "But most players would sign up for the results I've had here. I lost to Novak in five [sets], Stan in five [sets], and twice to Rafa. Obviously, no shame in that.

    "In a different time, maybe the results would have been a bit different. But I'm proud of the results that I had here, and I have great memories."

    Murray's French Open is not yet over, as he will partner compatriot Dan Evans in the men's doubles event later this week.

    Amid the constant question mark hanging over his future in tennis, the 37-year-old admits he still enjoys competing, despite his reduced fitness levels in recent years.

    "My body isn't what it was 10 years ago. I'm fully aware of that," he added. "It takes a lot of time and effort to get it in a position to go out there and compete. It's not always perfect.

    "But I still enjoy giving [it] a go and trying to get myself out there and be as competitive as possible.

    "There has been a lot of talk about the right, or best, ways to go out from playing tennis. There is no perfect ending in most scenarios.

    "I'd like to go out winning a match or winning a tournament, but it doesn't really happen that way for most players."

  • Murray's likely French Open swansong ended by wonderful Wawrinka Murray's likely French Open swansong ended by wonderful Wawrinka

    Andy Murray bowed out in the opening round of what is likely to be his final French Open appearance, following a straight-sets defeat by Stan Wawrinka.

    The Swiss ran out a commanding 6-4 6-4 6-2 victor in two hours and 19 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, and could play Murray's compatriot Cameron Norrie in round two.

    Murray was facing Wawrinka for a third successive match at Roland Garros, having lost out to the latter in the 2020 first round and 2017 semi-finals.

    The 2015 champion stole an early advantage this time around, too, breaking in the opening game and subsequently holding to win the first set.

    A single break was also enough in the second set as Wawrinka doubled his lead.

    Murray has repeatedly said he is approaching the end of his career, revealing in February that he does not "plan on playing much past this summer".

    However, the 2016 runner-up's chances of extending what is potentially his French Open swansong were all but ended as Wawrinka broke twice in the third set for a 4-0 lead, before the 39-year-old rounded off a dominant win.

    Data Debrief

    Wawrinka (39) and Murray (37) locked horns in the second-oldest match-up at Roland Garros this century, behind the 2019 first-round showdown between Ivo Karlovic (40) and Feliciano Lopez (37).

    And the Swiss was not to be denied, as he became the oldest man to win a match at the French Open since compatriot Roger Federer three years ago.

  • 'It would be an honour to play Swiatek', Osaka admits ahead of potential French Open clash 'It would be an honour to play Swiatek', Osaka admits ahead of potential French Open clash

    Naomi Osaka admits it would be "a very big honour" to play Iga Swiatek at the French Open, ahead of a potential second-round showdown at Roland Garros.

    After a 15-month maternity break, the four-time major winner marked her return to the French capital with a hard-earned three-set victory over Lucia Bronzetti in the opening round.

    That potentially sets up a meeting with Swiatek in round two, should the reigning champion overcome Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

    And Osaka is thrilled by the prospect of facing the world number one, who has lifted Coupe Suzanne Lenglen three times in the past four years. 

    "I'm really excited," she told reporters during her post-match press conference. 

    "I watched her a lot when I was pregnant. I think it's an honour to play her in the French Open, because she's won more than once here. It's a very big honour and challenge for me."

    After beating Bronzetti 6-1 4-6 7-5, Osaka (75.3 per cent, 58-19) now only trails Swiatek (81.4 per cent, 70-16) among active players, for the highest winning percentage in women’s singles matches at major events.

    The Japanese was made to work hard for her victory. After a dominant opening set, Osaka was taken to a decider, in which she was pegged back from 4-0 up, but eventually got over the line.

    "The match really was like a rollercoaster," she added. "I felt like I was extremely focused in the first set, and maybe I let it go a bit.

    "I came back in the third, but then I let it go a bit, and I just got really tight from there. I'm really glad I was able to regroup and win."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.