Diego Schwartzman launches his bid for a first ATP title on home soil when he faces Spanish youngster Jaume Munar in the second round of the Cordoba Open on Thursday night.
Diego Schwartzman ?? vs Jaume Munar ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday February 6
Tournament: ATP Cordoba Open, R2
Court: Cancha Central
Time: 8.30pm local time (11.30pm GMT)
Diego Schwartzman vs Jaume Munar Head-to-Head
Schwartzman leads 1-0
2018 | US Open R64 | Schwartzman 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-2
Diego Schwartzman vs Jaume Munar Match Preview
After falling in the quarter-finals in his tournament debut in Cordoba last season, Schwartzman will be hoping to go deeper into the event this week and win his first ATP title on Argentine soil.
The top seed, World No. 14 and highest-ranked player outside of Europe in the world, Schwartzman is backing himself for success in Cordoba, but is mindful that most players in the draw have already played matches on clay coming into this stage of the tournament, with the Argentine playing his first match since falling to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open last month.
“I’m trying to think to be ready with my legs, mentally, physically, everything. I need to be ready because here on clay and with this weather, [it is] very hot, you need to be ready to play two, three hours on clay for three sets,” Schwartzman said. “I think if I am in my 100 per cent, I have a good chance to do well.”
“The beginning of the year was very good for me. Good start in Australia at the ATP Cup. I’m [feeling] very good right now, trying to be at my 100 per cent on clay,” Schwartzman added. “It’s been seven months already without playing on clay. It’s a different way to see every point on court, so I need to have a few days, enjoy here in Argentina and try to do my best and try to play my best tennis.”
Schwartzman didn’t have the best ATP Cup campaign as he lost three of his four matches, but they all came against strong opposition in Hubert Hurkacz, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev, while he did manage a win over Borna Coric. Schwartzman did raise his level considerably at the Australian Open, beating Lloyd Harris, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Dusan Lajovic without dropping a set, but ultimately eventual champion Djokovic proved too strong in the fourth round.
The 27-year-old has a great chance of breaking into the top 10 over the coming months and eclipsing his previous career-high ranking of No. 11, which he achieved in 2018 after making the French Open quarter-finals, while he was also a quarter-finalist at the U.S. Open last year. Can Schwartzman put together a title-winning run in Cordoba this week?
Munar is a very tough opening opponent. The 22-year-old was also a quarter-finalist in Cordoba last year, defeating Guido Andreozzi and Marco Cecchinato before going down to Federico Delbonis. Munar conquered an Argentine in his opening round earlier this week in Cordoba, toppling Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-3 to set up this second round showdown with Schwartzman.
After earning his first tour-level win in 2015, Munar – who trains at his idol Rafael Nadal’s academy – has made steady progress on tour, but he will be hoping to take his game to the next level in 2020 and break into the top 50 for the first time. The Spaniard peaked at No. 52 in May last season after beating Alexander Zverev for the biggest win of his career en route to the Marrakech quarter-finals, but an eight-match losing streak throughout the middle of the season caused his ranking to drop back outside the top 100. However, Munar was able to salvage his ranking before the season was over, sneaking back inside the top 100 after winning the Montevideo Challenger, while a second round showing at the Australian Open has propelled him up to a current mark of No. 87.
Diego Schwartzman vs Jaume Munar Prediction
As Schwartzman said, this will be a tough opening match on clay, especially with Munar having already played a match this week and winning a Challenger on the surface at the end of last year. Schwartzman was excellent in Melbourne, but the transition from hard to clay is always a challenging one. I think he’ll find a way to win in front of his home fans, but it could be a real battle against Munar, who is one of the more intense characters out there.