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World No. 2 Rafael Nadal Upset by Diego Schwartzman at Italian Open

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 19, 2020

Argentina's Diego Schwartzman returns the ball to Spain's Rafael Nadal during their quarterfinals at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)
Alfredo Falcone/Associated Press

Diego Schwartzman stunned World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open quarterfinals 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday in Rome's Foro Italico:

ATP Tour @atptour

Just look at what it means to @dieschwartzman! You love to see it. 🙌 📹: @TennisTV | #IBI20 https://t.co/DjSVXTF3NF

Schwartzman, who lost all nine of his previous meetings with Nadal, had won just two sets off the 19-time major winner entering Saturday.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Schwartzman's win is Nadal's first loss on clay since the left-hander dropped a match to Stefanos Tsitsipas at ATP Madrid in May 2019.

The 28-year-old Argentinian was phenomenal all evening, and he seemingly had an answer for everything Nadal sent his way.

ATP Tour @atptour

Tennis of the highest order 🙇‍♂️🙇‍♀️ @dieschwartzman has come to play tonight! | #IBI20 https://t.co/jshEHj7wMm

ATP Tour @atptour

Side to side, front to back, @dieschwartzman is everywhere! 🏃 📹: @TennisTV | @InteBNLdItalia | #IBI20 https://t.co/nz7R1FlDPN

ATP Tour @atptour

Backhand Beauties 😍 @dieschwartzman | @InteBNLdItalia | #IBI20 https://t.co/JLuet7QgX1

Schwartzman was clearly pleased with his performance and rightfully so:

ATP Tour @atptour

"Today, I played my best tennis ever." @dieschwartzman | #IBI20

He excelled Saturday when it counted the most, converting five of his nine break-point opportunities. He also won 64 percent of his first-serve points.

Nadal, who has won nine Italian Opens, is gearing up for next week's French Open, which he has won 12 times. The 34-year-old has won at Roland Garros in each of the past three seasons and eight of the last 10 years.

This year's French Open begins on Sunday, Sept. 27. Seedings will be announced on Friday.

Schwartzman will also take part, but he'll now gear up for the Italian Open semifinals against Denis Shapovalov. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud form the other semi. Both matches will take place on Sunday.

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