BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Jewish Argentine tennis star Diego Schwartzman was defeated by Rafael Nadal ahead of the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, in a nearly four-hour match.
Schwartzman won the second set but his journey at the first Grand Slam of the year was stopped by the Spaniard, who won by 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-3.
After reaching the top sixteen players in Australia, Schwartzman will secure his place as the world’s highest-ranked Jewish player. He is in the 26 position in the ATP ranking. Israeli player Dudi Sela, at age 32, is ranked 95 and lost in the first round of the tournament.
“What a great match against a fantastic player and a great person #great is the word,” Nadal, who is the highest-ranked player in the world and the first seed in the Australian Open, wrote after the match on his Instagram account, where he posted a photo of the two players shaking hadns after the match
Schwartzman, 25, who was raised in a Jewish family in Buenos Aires, has steadily risen in the rankings since turning pro at 17. Between 2010 and 2012, he won nine tournaments in the International Tennis Federation, the sport’s minor leagues. He won his first ATP Tour title at the Istanbul Open in 2016, upsetting the highly ranked Grigor Dimitrov.
“I feel great,” Schwartzman said following the match. “I think I did a good job inside the court. I think Rafa played good points in those moments, playing aggressively. That’s why he’s one of the best in history.