The rosarina Nadia podoroska, revelation of the tournament, and the porteño Diego schwartzman, number 14 in the world, will seek to settle in the semifinals of Roland Garros, an achievement that Argentine tennis has not reached since the 2004 edition.
It was 16 years ago the last time that at least two “albiceleste” tennis players were among the best four of the Parisian Grand Slam, which this year moved its date from May to October and takes place with a limited number of spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Podoroska, 23, will face the number five in the world and fifth seeded in the women’s team, the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, not before 12:00 in the central court Philippe-Chatrier.
The “Peque”, also of Ukrainian origin by her father, became the absolute surprise of the tournament, in which she made her debut this year after getting her entry to the “draw” from the previous classification.
His outstanding presentation in Paris earned him the recognition of the entire Argentine tennis scene, as it represents a revitalization of the female branch after deserted seasons.
Roland Garros had not had an Argentine player in its main draw since 2014 (Paula Ormaechea) and ten years earlier it had registered the last classified in the quarterfinals (Paola Suárez).
“When I was a girl I was so eager to be where I am today that it hurt me. Success has come to me because I stopped looking for it”, summarized Podoroska after entering the history of national tennis with her string of victories in the Parisian “major”.
Argentina, who only registered a first round match at the 2016 US Open as a Grand Slam antecedents, came from the “qualy” with triumphs over the Polish Magdalena Frech, the romanian Jacqueline christian and the china Xinyu Wang and then advanced at the expense of the Belgian Greet minnen, the Kazakh Yulia Putintseva, the Slovak Anna Schmiedlova and the czech Barbora Krejcikova.
Today he will have his first match with Svitolina (26 years old), a player settled in the female greater circle, seeking her first Grand Slam after being a semifinalist at Wimbledon and the United States 2019 and reaching the quarterfinals in Paris twice (2015 and 2017).
“It will be complicated, he has a lot of experience, he comes from winning a tournament last week (Strasbourg). The same helps me that he does not know me,” said the Argentine after achieving access to the quarterfinals.
For his part, “Peque” SchwartzmanThe 28-year-old will face a tough cross against Austrian Dominic Thiem, third seed on the brick dust of Roland Garros, where he was a semi-finalist in 2016 and 2017.
The Argentine lives a solid present in his career and arrived at this Grand Slam as a recent finalist of the Masters 1000 in Rome, with the most important victory of his career against the best player in history on land: the Spanish Rafael Nadal.
“I beat the best in history on brick dust with this confidence. I hope to have that level against Dominic. I have to do everything perfect,” assumed the “Peque” ahead of today’s game, scheduled in the third shift of the main court, after Podoroska-Svitolina.
Schwartzman, who has already matched his best performance in Paris (2018 quarter-finals), lost six matches and won two in an eight-game history with the Austrian, the US Open champion last month.
His victories were at the 2019 Canadian Masters 1000 (fast court) and at the 2019 Buenos Aires ATP (brick dust).
Schwartzman’s path at this Roland Garros was built with triumphs against the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, the Italian Lorenzo Giustino, the Slovakian Norbert Gombos and the Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
If both “Peques” win this Tuesday, Argentina will have at least two semifinalists at Roland Garros as happened in 2004 when Paola Suárez did, among the ladies; Gastón Gaudio (champion that year), Guillermo Coria (finalist) and David Nalbandian in the men’s bracket.