Diego Schwartzman of Argentina hits a forehand against Lucas Pouille of France (not pictured) on day seven of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center..
(photo credit: GEOFF BURKE-USA TODAY SPORTS/VIA REUTERS)
NEW YORK – Diego Schwartzman is having the time of his life in the Big Apple. He hasn’t been to a Broadway show or a Yankees game, but he has twice been to the Grandstand at the US Open and stunned two of the tournament’s top players over the weekend.
Schwartzman – the 25-year-old Jewish Argentine – defeated No. 5 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday and returned to the same court on Sunday to knock out No. 16 Lucas Pouille of France 7-6(3), 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in his first career Grand Slam fourth round match.
Schwartzman advances to the quarterfinals and faces Pablo Carrreno Busta of Spain, who defeated Israeli-born Canadian Denis Shapovalov in straight sets earlier in the day on Sunday.
Schwartzman played catch up in the first two sets. He overcame a 3-1 deficit in the first set, tying at 3-3, never ahead until taking the tie-breaker 7-3.
In the second set, Schwartzman was down 4-2, then fought back to win three straight games and closing out the set 7-5.
After dropping the third set, Schwartzman closed out the fourth set in a quick 30 minutes.
Schwartzman is loving the New York crowd, which has cheered for him throughout his matches so far.
“They are helping a lot in the matches. When it’s a tough moment in the match, they are making noise with me, just to be with me in the match. I am really happy for that and thank everyone for doing that.”
Schwartzman is looking forward to playing his first Grand Slam quarterfinal against Busta in Arthur Ashe stadium.
The winner of their match will play in the semifinals against either Sam Querrey or Kevin Anderson.
Meanwhile, in the juniors tournament, Israel’s Yshai Oliel cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 first-round victory over American wild-card Ryan Goetz.
“I was happy with how I played and hope to continue like that,” said Oliel, who is seeded sixth at the event.
The 17-year-old lefty from Ramle is currently ranked No. 11 in the world for juniors and No. 890 for men.
“I was a little tight in the beginning of the match,” said Oliel to The Jerusalem Post
. “I started feeling better and better every game.”