Diego Schwartzman received two excellent news and was one step away from playing the London Masters

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The falls of Monfils and Shapovalov in Vienna left the Peque very close to making even more history this year.

After a couple of weak performances in the resumption of the season after the stoppage due to the pandemic, Diego Schwartzman began to play a tennis of the highest level and put together three excellent performances – final in the Masters 1000 de Roma, semis at Roland Garros and again final in the ATP 250 Cologne– which put him in the top 10 of the ranking for the first time. His great moment also allows him to get excited about playing the London Masters. And although he still needs to secure a place at that appointment, excellent news reached him this Monday from Vienna. Because Gael Monfils and Denis Shapovalov, two of their greatest rivals in the race to the English capital, lost in their debut in the Austrian competition and greatly fed the chances of the Small to qualify for the first time to the tournament that brings together the eight best of the season.

Monfils retired due to a neck discomfort when he fell 6-1, 2-0 to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in one of Vienna’s first-round duels. While. Shapovalov lost surprisingly 6-4 and 7-5 with the local Yuri Rodionov. Thus, the French, 11th in the Race of Champions with 2,860 points, and the Canadian, 12th with 2,830, were very far from the fight.

Schwartzman, who after losing to Alexander Zverev in the final in Cologne on Sunday left Vienna to rest, is ninth with 3,285 points. And he would be keeping one of the two tickets still available today, since Roger Federer, classified, will not play until next year due to the operation on his knee. The other would be for the Russian Andrey Rublev, eighth with 3,429, and that this Monday advanced to eighth in Vienna.

With the early eliminations of Monfils and Shapovalov, the greatest threat of the Small today is italian Matteo Berrettini, tenth with 2,875 points, who also has no action this week.

So far, the minimum number of points needed to reach the Masters – to which Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Zverev qualified – is 3,725. Although logic indicates that in the coming weeks that number will be adjusted downwards to ensure the eight participants in the appointment. For this reason, the Argentine’s attention must be on adding as much as possible to prevent those players who follow him closely in the race from catching up with him.

After this week’s stop in Vienna, the circuit will pass through Paris from next Monday, where the last Masters 1000 of the year will be played, and then it will go to Sofia, Bulgaria, which will host an ATP 250. Those will be the last tournaments In which points can be added for the Masters, which will start on November 15.

Both Schwartzman and his direct rivals in the fight for a ticket to London will play next week in Paris. The Argentine said goodbye last year in the second round, with which he added just ten points. Thus, you can feed your harvest a lot in this edition. Reaching the final, he would reach 3,875 and exceed the qualification threshold. And in the best of cases, if he is champion, he would reach 4275.

Berretini is in a similar situation, because in 2019 he was also fired in the second instance. Thus, it could add up to 990 points in the French capital, so it would reach a maximum of 3,865.

More complicated is the outlook for Monfils and Shapovalov. The Frenchman, who fell last year in the quarters, would be left with 3,680 if he wins the title. And the Canadian, a finalist in 2019, would only reach 3,230 if he lifts the trophy, so he would still need an excellent result in Sofia and poor performances from his rivals to dream of qualifying.

He Small, then, it depends on itself. He has one foot inside London and if he manages to repeat in Paris what he has been doing in recent weeks, he will have a good chance of winning a place in the final season competition. He would be the first Argentine to play it after seven years, after the participation of Juan Martín Del Potro in the 2013 edition.

This edition, in any case, has already guaranteed the presence of a national tennis player and it is Horacio Zeballos. The Mar del Plata, number three in the world in doubles, will compete in the couples competition with the Spanish Marcel Granollers.

Can Schwartzman stretch his big moment and treat himself to closing the best year of his career as one of the best of the season in the O2 Arena from the British capital?

FK

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