Watching Diego Schwartzman v Dominic Thiem yesterday was energy-sapping. Two players that I like but when you have had a bet on one to win his quarter and it goes on for five hours ten minutes, there isn’t much left in the tank by the end and I’m talking about me, not the players. Schwartzman could have actually won this in straight sets in hindsight but nerves and Thiem’s brilliance meant we were in for the extended period. It meant that ‘El Peque’ found himself two sets to one down even though he was playing superbly. It was a match of real quality and the way Thiem refused to lie down here was particularly impressive. He has said so many times that he would eventually feel tired and Schwartzman is exactly the type of matchup he would have been dreading. The Argentine’s tactics were spot on and he really kept his opponent out there in the rallies and by the time the fifth set came around Thiem was finally exhausted. I don’t know how he kept this competitive as long as he did and its props to him for that. It was a fantastic all-round performance from Diego though. I just hope he has a bit left in the tank to give Nadal a match on Friday now.
That was after the Spaniard got out of a bit of a hole. Jannik Sinner came out firing late, late last night. Not only did he serve for the first set, but he also went a break up in the second too, sadly he couldn’t hold his serve immediately after either though. You can see why he is a player that would cause Rafa a load of problems and the Spaniard will count himself a bit lucky to have got this done as he did. It is fair to say he wasn’t too impressed with playing late on the Chatrier. There was a comment that I read saying he wasn’t sure why they put five matches on the main court and a few little remarks about the conditions being slow and balls being very heavy again. I was very impressed by the Italian once again though, despite from the outside the 7/6 6/4 6/1 scoreline doesn’t look that special.
I can say I was right all along about Elina Svitolina not winning her quarter. I will concede I thought she would end up beating Nadia Podoroska yesterday but would blow up before the final. The Ukrainian put in a lacklustre performance though and didn’t really test the Argentine, who had looked very edgy in beating Krejcikova in the last round. She becomes the first-ever women’s qualifier to make the semis in Paris. It has been some effort from her in what has been a crazy few weeks. For Svitolina it is back to the drawing board, mentally she doesn’t currently have it for me and she has proved that time and time again.
The other qualifier in the women’s event, Martin Trevisan lost out to Iga Swiatek. The young Pole was an early break down here but went on a crazy run of games to win 6/3 6/1. I have really enjoyed watching Trevisan at times in the last few rounds but Swiatek is operating at a different level right now. She has not had the easiest of draws lets remember. Marketa Vondrousova was her first-round opponent, whom she beat by the same score that she defeated Halep by, 6/1 6/2. Incredible to think she hasn’t dropped a set yet and the closest she has been was when she won the set 6/4 against Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round.
In the match held over from the night before Danielle Collins just had that little bit too much consistency for Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian looked the better player for large spells but she tired and made more errors as the match came to its conclusion.
On we go.
Andy Del Potro