Diego Schwartzman put the disappointment of a heartbreaking Monte Carlo quarter-final loss behind him with an assured victory to open his Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell campaign on Tuesday.
The sixth-seeded Argentina was a 6-2, 6-2 winner against American Mackenzie McDonald on Pista Rafa Nadal.
“Last week I had the chance to be in the semi-finals. It was very sad after the match against Tsitsipas,” Schwartzman said post-match. “He won the tournament, so I lost against the champion but I had an opportunity to be in the semi-finals in Monte Carlo, a Masters 1000.
“Maybe that is the positive thing from last week. This week already I won the first round. I have to keep improving some things but in this way, I know that I have the chance to win many matches in this clay season.”
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The World No. 15 broke in seven of his eight return games against McDonald’s, taking the last seven in a row after the American saved four break points to win the opening game of the match. But Schwartzman also dropped his own serve three times, leaving him not entirely satisfied with his performance.
“Maybe I have many things to improve for the next round,” he assessed. “Maybe I was not serving [great]. I was doing at the beginning of the match maybe too many mistakes, for me.
“At the end I think in the second set I was playing my best, but I made too many mistakes. He had another opportunity to come back in the match [after he broke for] 4-2. I took the chance one more time and at the end I think I did great in the last game.”
Schwartzman will next face #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 7-6(8) win over 12th seed Daniel Evans. The 20-year-old led by an early break in set two but had to stop Evans from serving out the set at 5-3. He then saved a pair of set points in the extended tie-break before closing it out on his second match point.
Saving his best for last!
Musetti comes up with a stunner before closing out a quality battle vs Evans in Barcelona 💯 pic.twitter.com/vgq9yP2PGb
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) April 19, 2022
Musetti and Schwartzman met less than one week ago in the Monte Carlo last 16, when the Argentine won a three-setter, and will square off again at the same stage in Barcelona. Musetti won the first of their two ATP Head2Head meetings last season in Acapulco, also in three sets.
Fourth Cameron Norrie closed out the day’s action with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifier Egor Gerasimov, battling back from 1-3 down in the decider to notch his first clay-court victory of the year and his 16th overall.