Diego Schwartzman expressed a very high level of play last week at the Rome Masters, where he surrendered in the final to world number 1 Novak Djokovic after neatly beating the king of the earth Rafael Nadal. The Argentine tennis player has reached his first final in a Masters 1000 and is fast approaching his goal of entering the Top 10.
'El Peque' is one of the most consistent players in the entire circuit, having remained on a permanent basis in the Top 30 starting from 11 September 2017. The South American will also try to do well at Roland Garros, which will be held in very different conditions than usual due to the slip at the end of September.
The favorites will be Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, but Diego is aware of his chances after a disappointing US Open.
Schwartzman on the Big 3
“I broke another barrier. Getting to a Masters 1000 final is a joy for me.
I feel like I've grown up. To continue improving the ranking, I have to win in the quarterfinals and semifinals of these tournaments," Diego Schwartzman said in an interview with ESPN after his loss to Novak Djokovic.
"If I want to take another step, I have to repeat weeks like these and feel confident to do it. The affection that I received still surprises me. I am a simple tennis player and it is an immense joy that so many people like what I do," the Argentine added.
Schwartzman went on to say that he wants to put himself in position to win the big titles when the opportunity arises in the coming years. "They (the Big 3) have been winning all the tournaments for many years. As the years go by, there may come a time when when their level may drop a bit, where we (the other players) will have more opportunities.
I hope to be on that list and my goal is to be prepared," he said. The Big Three monopolized the top spot in the ATP men's singles rankings from 2 February 2004 to 6 November 2016 and again from 21 August 2017 to the present, for a total of 806 weeks (equivalent to over 15 years) as of 21 September 2020.
Federer was ranked number 1 for a record 310 weeks, Djokovic, the current number 1, for 287 weeks, and Nadal for 209 weeks. Each player has occupied the top position at the end of the year five times. The Big Three have played each other in 145 matches, including 69 finals.
Of all the matches, 46 have been played at Grand Slam tournaments, including 22 finals. The first match between two players of the Big Three occurred in March 2004 at the Miami Masters, where Nadal defeated Federer. Federer and Djokovic first met in April 2006 at the Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal and Djokovic first faced each other a month later at the 2006 French Open.