Petronas Towers, how tall Kevin is
Diego Schwartzman was asked how on earth he had made up for this deficit. He was 1: 6, 2: 6, 3: 5 behind. At 5: 4 in the third and fourth sets, his opponent Kevin Anderson was able to serve with his own serve to win the match. "Have you read 'David versus Goliath'?" Replied Schwartzman. He smiled. "That's why I won. That's why. I read it in school as a kid and I try to think about it when I see guys like Kevin and others who are six feet tall." Professionals who tower over it.
Schwartzman is the opposite of that. At 1.70 meters, he is the smallest professional in men's tennis. When Anderson stepped to the net after his 6: 1, 6: 2, 5: 7, 6: 7 (0), 2: 6 knockout round defeat and shook hands with the Argentine, it looked like a father had congratulated the son. Anderson is 33 centimeters taller, with 2.03 meters. Schwartzman's victory was spectacular, but not a sensation either. He has come a long way. The 25-year-old from Buenos Aires is number twelve in the world rankings, a fighter and, this highlights him, one of the few who can possibly annoy Rafael Nadal. In January at the Australian Open, they wore themselves out in four intense sets. And recently the two trained in Mallorca. The two friends will meet in the quarter-finals in Paris this Wednesday.
Does he believe in his chance? "Always," Schwartzman exclaimed immediately, "I always believe that I can do it. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't play anymore."
In tennis there are over-figures like Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, who are known worldwide. Schwartzman is not, in many areas he is only familiar to experts and those interested in tennis. But in his homeland he is gradually becoming more and more prominent. Especially in Jewish communities. He is a jew. His ancestors came from Germany, Poland and Russia before they emigrated during the Second World War. A reporter from Picture on sunday Schwartzman told in Paris that his maternal great-grandmother was in the carriage to the concentration camp in Auschwitz and was able to escape. But he doesn't know much more.
The others were always bigger
From that point of view, it's a miracle that Schwartzman even exists; in other ways, it's extraordinary that he became a professional. When he was 13, doctors told him that he would not be taller than 1.70 meters. "I will never play tennis again," he told mother Silvana at home. His disappointment was all the more violent because the three older siblings are bigger than him, but only he wanted to try his luck in sports. Last year Silvana told the story on the ATP Tour website. It is, if it doesn't sound so clichéd, actually a David story.
Whatever Schwartzman did, he was the smallest. Football was his passion, he got his first name in honor of Maradona (who is only 1.65 meters tall). He played at Club Social Parque, where Riquelme once started. As a ball distributor, Schwartzman showed talent, but he struggled physically. "He told me that he wouldn't do anything good in life if the doctors were to be proved right," reported Silvana, "I told him he was wrong and that his size shouldn't influence his dreams." You have encouraged him to believe in himself. So Schwartzman focused on tennis. But that was also a struggle - a financial one.
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