The shock did not happen. As in their three previous encounters on the circuit, Daniil Medvedev got the better of Diego Schwartzman on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Rolex Paris Masters. But more than the pure result, it was the manner that impressed. The Russian thus gave up only 4 small games to his opponent (6-3, 6-1) in a one-sided encounter which lasted barely more than an hour (1:03 exactly). A scenario all the more surprising as the Argentinian, in great shape, would have validated his qualification for the Masters in case of victory. For his part, the number 3 seed of the tournament will challenge Milos Raonic, winner in extremis of Ugo Humbert (6-3, 3-6, 7-6), in the last four.
Has the stake weighed too much in the head and on the shoulders of Diego Schwartzman? The question deserves to be asked, as he quickly appeared resigned on Friday. Admittedly, Daniil Medvedev had never succeeded him so far, but during the ATP Cup last January, the Argentinian did not come very far from victory in a heated match that left traces in relations between both players. This time, there was no photo.
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The credit goes above all to the winner of the day. Ultra-focused, Medvedev kept his momentum from the last two sets of his round of 16 against Alex de Minaur. Miserly in unforced errors, he especially impressed on service (76% of firsts, 8 aces for 2 double faults). It’s simple, he only lost 5 tiny points on his commitments and only one after his first serve (27 points out of 28 won, or 96% success), a statistic that says a lot about his performance today, but also on the powerlessness of Schwartzman to raise. “Peque” did not get the slightest break point.
Once the first set lost, the Argentine did not outline the slightest revolt. Without a solution to overwhelm his opponent, he could not rely on his serve to get free points. Result: on his faceoffs, Medvedev put constant pressure on him (exchanges of 8 strokes on average, against 5 on the Russian’s commitment). Head down, Schwartzman racked up the prizes and lost the last 5 games of the game. His opponent, who seems to be back to the standards of his 2019 season at the end of the tournament, concluded the deal with a last ace and a shutout. Quite a symbol.
And as good news never comes alone, thanks to this victory, Medvedev is now guaranteed to take 4th place in the world from Roger Federer next week in the ATP rankings. An important progression to be better protected in the perspective of the next Australian Open. For his part, Schwartzman is still very well placed to qualify for the Masters. If Rafael Nadal wins against Pablo Carreno Busta at the end of the day – the Mallorcan has never lost against his compatriot so far – “Peque” will make the trip across the Channel well.