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June 7, 2018
R. NADAL/D. Schwartzman
4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. Congratulations on an impressive match.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Thanks.
Q. You played with fearlessness. How hard is it to be fearless against Rafa?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Just hard play against Rafa (smiling). But I needed to be there on court, to be there against the best players of the world.
Rafa is a great player, so I need more than tennis to try to stay on the court, try to keep doing good job.
I think I did a great match. Rafa was totally different guy yesterday, and today the match change a lot. He was playing better than me today, and so nothing.
Q. How did it feel yesterday when you were playing, I think you'll agree, the best tennis of your life, and then, all of a sudden, you see the rain starting.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Yeah, the rain was not help nothing to me.
But it's always tough against Rafa. Totally focused, play 100% tennis. Yesterday I was doing many winners, not many unforced errors. He was not playing his best tennis. Maybe was the day when you can beat Rafa was yesterday.
Today he start playing totally different. Aggressive, doing winners, no mistakes. So the match change a lot. So the rain was nothing good for me yesterday.
Q. How proud are you of your performances here at Roland Garros? And what does it tell you about the level of tennis that you can play?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I am really proud, because is my third Grand Slam in a row doing the second week, doing better always every week. So I am improving every year, and I am really happy for that.
Then I know I am doing a great job on the court. Because I didn't start well the clay season, the first tournaments, the first three tournaments.
Then, after Madrid, I start to play again my best tennis, and here I think I did a great job. Rafa is the king here, and I did a great job before the rain. Then maybe I didn't start well today. He was playing better than me, so nothing.
I am really proud for the tournament, yes?
Q. Do you ever get tired of people focusing on your height?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Yeah (smiling). Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know why they ask every week, every week, every week, every day. Come on, they know the answer. So why they are asking every time?
But it's okay. I mean, I am respect guy, so I always try to do the answer. But every week they ask the same question, so they can read the newspaper and they know the answer.
Q. I want to know if you've ever raced anyone here and if you're the fastest or one of the fastest guys in tennis? You have to be because it looks amazing when you run.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Thank you. Maybe (smiling). I can't tell you that, because I am playing, but we have a lot of faster players now in the world.
Rafa say to me, practicing sometimes, that I am really fast. After that, I feel more fast than before.
But, yeah, maybe. Maybe I am, but not sure.
Q. Just building on that question, I know you were quite a soccer player when you were younger. Is there anything about the movement in soccer that transferred to tennis for you?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Maybe yes; maybe no. Not sure. I was working a lot, because I need my legs to do a better job on the court.
So I am always trying to improve my movements, trying to be ready for be -- to be aggressive. And I need my legs, and I need the good position in my legs. So I am trying to improve that, and I am every day practicing.
Q. You might not like this question either, but what is it like playing Rafa when he's playing his best tennis and the ball keeps coming back to you over the net?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: It's not good. It's not good. I think is the worst part of the tennis. Play against Rafa here when he's playing his best tennis is not good.
I mean, many, many points today I was playing really good, aggressive. He was running all the time, and then he come back the point and finish with a winner.
After that, it's tough to play the next point, and nothing is -- is not good part of the tennis play against Rafa in his best tennis, for sure.
Q. You are a big football fan, as we all know, and I'm sure you're up to date with all the news about the Argentina football team and the fact that they canceled the game against Israel. What's your take on that?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I mean, I don't know. I can't tell you nothing about, because I just read yesterday night the newspaper and say the match was canceled. I am not sure what happen. And nothing. I am not sure.
Q. Monday you will be No. 11 in the world, and there are 1,600 points between the 10 position and the 11. But it's a real target for you, the top 10?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Now, if I start to think, yes, because I am really close, and I have not many points in the next month and a half. Because in Wimbledon season last year, I didn't win a point.
So, yeah, if I put the target now, it's try to keep improving and try to be close to the top 10.
When I start the year, was not a goal for me. Now maybe yes.
But I need many more points in the year to finish in the top 10. So that is the first step I need to do.
Q. You have just touched briefly on Wimbledon. You're playing great tennis right now. Can you have renewed and new confidence going into the season at Wimbledon, taking that on as a new challenge that you might look forward to?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I hope so. I hope to do better than the last years in the grass. We can't have a good preparation as Argentinian because we don't have grass courts in Argentina. And now it's winter. It's really cold, and we need to practice indoor courts, hard courts. So the preparation is not good.
And after more than two months, I need to go home now. And is not easy to be there on the grass. I am always trying to improve every year. I didn't have much luck in the draws, as well, because I played against the best players on grass the last years.
But, yeah, I have the confidence to improve. I know I can play good there, so maybe this year.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.
Q. Everything changed yesterday. You were hitting heavy balls. And we saw you in Australia. Can you win against Nadal or not?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I was not close to winning. I made his life complicated. I was always ready but far from winning.
Rafa is always trying to win the match. I was unlucky with the rain, because he was not hitting very well yesterday. And this enabled me to have a lot of winning shots yesterday.
And today was totally different because when I was playing a short ball, he was hitting very high balls. And I was having difficulty with my legs to enter into the match, a bit slower than yesterday and with a little less confidence. The match changed.
Q. Everything was working well yesterday for you. The stars were aligned. Tell us what happened yesterday evening and this morning. Why did you feel difficulty to enter into the match? What happened yesterday when you saw the rain? Did you think my chance was yesterday and today was going to be totally different?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Yes. Yesterday Rafa was not playing so well. I was playing fantastically. I was winning his serve. He was not in confidence, and I was able to attack and to dominate most of the points. I had a lot of winners. But I think that the match was totally different today because everything was in his favor.
So these are moments that happen. I can't complain about the rain. I had to continue the match today, and today he was better than me.
Q. From the way we saw you, you entered the court thinking you can win versus in the past when you were entering the court against someone who you think would win. What has changed in your attitude towards the court?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I have never entered a court just to enjoy the match. I was always wanting to win. The first matches I played against the top five players, I said it's always a match I can win.
And so it's a learning phase, and I know that I will have more and more chances of winning when I play my matches. And each time I'm improving here. I won a set and I'm improving.
I know that the game and the ranking say that I'm in a position where I'm capable of winning against them, and so I have to win the next time I play against him.
Q. Rafa said that one of the keys was the change of position on the court. Did you realize that?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: Yes.
Q. You knew that he was going to change his strategy. Did you also think you had to have a counter-strategy, or did you say, I have to continue as like the beginning of the match?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I tried to play like I did yesterday, because I was bothering him.
He changed his position on the court, and I tried to play one or two balls to the right, to the left, and he didn't let me have my game. He played a lot of dropshots, and he had better results.
He hit a lot of balls down the line, so it was very difficult because you're not waiting for these balls and they arrive very fast. He was much more aggressive, and he made a lot more winners than I did today.
I made more errors than yesterday because he was more aggressive, and I was not in an easy position to make these winners.
Q. How happy are you about your Roland Garros? You won one set to Nadal, which didn't happen since 2015. You won the first matches very well. You won a fantastic match against Anderson, losing two sets down, and you're going to be very close to top 10.
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: I'm a bit sad about the match because, as I said, I was playing not so well. I had a chance yesterday, and too bad. The match lasted less than an hour. I had the match in my mind.
I just took a shower and had the doping control. I didn't think about his shots. So when I will return home, because I have been away for a long time, I will suddenly realize and enjoy a lot my journey.
I'm aware that I'm improving a lot, and each time I'm doing better. A lot of people thought it was the moment. I was playing very well in each round. I have to be convinced about that, that I'm doing great tennis and enjoying everything.
Q. At some point in time, did you ever think that you could beat Rafa in Paris?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: He has the best mindset of the history. He's one of the best players in history. He doesn't know what frustration is. And despite losing the first set, the first 40 minutes, he came back as if nothing had happened before. Sometimes these are talents that very few players have in the world.
It gave him time to speak with his team. He changed his strategy and how he played. And when the match stopped, he was able to get relaxed and get help from his team. Even if I had played more hours today, I wouldn't have won.
Q. You are the only player who have won a set over the last three years to Nadal. You were close today. How can you win against Rafael at Roland Garros?
DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN: You have to hit hard balls close to the line that don't come back. You have to maintain the high intensity for more than three hours and to win in three sets. Here the match lasted just three hours, and you have to enter the court being able to have full intensity and not relax for one minute. Because when you're relaxed, you're down, he notes it. He changes his play and he's attacking, and he's doing it very well. He did it fantastically, and he's extremely self-confident.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports