DIEGO Schwartzman (pictured) will play in the French Open men’s singles semi-finals for the first time after defeating his good friend, Austria’s world number 3 Dominic Thiem, in an epic five-set quarter-final in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Australian time).
The 28-year-old Argentine, seeded 12th, continued his red-hot form from being a finalist in the Italian Open a fortnight ago, by breezing through the first four rounds in Paris without losing a set.
In a five-hour marathon full of twists against Thiem, Schwartzman eventually prevailed 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 6-2.
The pair traded blows in an intense battle that featured some marathon games, including one that lasted 15 minutes.
“This match was very important to me – Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world [and] we are friends. I have a lot of respect for him,” Schwartzman said.
Thiem said, “I’m so disappointed [but] I’m still happy for him”.
Schwartzman will next face second seed Rafael Nadal – whom he beat for the first time at the Italian Open.