Rafael Nadal and Diego Schwartzman locked horns in a mouth-watering fixture at the French Open 2020 semi-final. Though Rafa has a commanding lead in their head-to-head battles, Schwartzman has the advantage of gaining the latest victory. He decided to go the extra mile in the crucial final four clash and stunned Rafa with his powerful forehands.
As expected, Rafa Nadal dominated early on in the match. The clay-court king did not waste any time settling in and took the first set 6-3. Though the Spaniard dominated the match, Diego Schwartzman had plenty of moments where he stood tall.
Both athletes displayed tremendous durability and did not want to commit a mistake. Their defensive game paved the way for sensational rallies that pleased the crowd. As the match progressed into the second set, Nadal looked in strong touch.
But during Rafa’s service game, Diego Schwartzman produced a powerful forehand that left everyone stunned. With a powerful serve, Nadal had Schwartzman running on both sides of the court, and the Argentine sent a thundering return which left the 12x RG champ speechless!
No one, not even Rafa saw this one coming, @dieschwartzman 👏#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/ZbcHmprzTT
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 9, 2020
The power Schwartzman applied to that forehand is just deadly. He came sliding into the return but managed to produce an accurate shot which left Nadal searching for an explanation.
Diego Schwartzman and Rafael Nadal fought through some brilliant rallies in the match
Diego Schwartzman and Rafael Nadal turned up the intensity right from the first game of the match. Neither looked like conceding a point without a fight. Schwartzman started off in tremendous fashion by winning a 28 shot rally to propel his confidence.
Point Schwartzman 🚨🇦🇷
Le duel entre l’Argentin et Nadal part sur de grosses bases ! Un échange de 28 coups remporté par Schwartzman lui permet de se procurer une 1ere balle de break #RG20
💻 Suivez la 1/2 finale en direct https://t.co/4pVq8cjidi pic.twitter.com/1OvDCC3PXo
— France tv sport (@francetvsport) October 9, 2020
However, Rafa Nadal gave Schwartzman a taste of his own medicine late in the first set. The Argentine tried to wear down his opponent by mixing up his returns all over the court.
However, during one point Nadal sent back an explosive backhand that beat Schwartzman comprehensively. These two plays came early on in the match, which excited the fans for the remainder of the game.
Casually ending a 23-ball rally with this thunder ⚡
🎥: @rolandgarros | @RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/CfclAM8Zq5
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 9, 2020
The match certainly went in Nadal’s favor, but Schwartzman held on with all his might. Of course, dethroning Rafa at Roland Garros is no simple task. It is easier said than done. Over the years, only two men have had the privilege of defeating Rafa in Paris, and one of them might even face him in the finals at French Open 2020.