Schwartzman Reigns In Rio

Diego Schwartzman (photo: Rio Open)

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 26, 2018

Diego Schwartzman claimed his second ATP World Tour title and his first 500-level crown at the Rio Open Presented by Claro. The No. 6 seed from Argentina defeated Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in Sunday’s final 6-2, 6-3.

Schwartzman saved eight of the nine break points he faced, converting four of his own to secure victory in one hour and 23 minutes.

The 25-year-old Argentine guaranteed that he climbs into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time, soaring to No. 18 on Monday.

“It means a lot. I never thought before the week I am going to be here with the trophy. It was an amazing week for me. Everything was perfect. Every match, every set was perfect for me, playing my best tennis. I am really happy,” said Schwartzman.

“When you pass a few matches you start to feel better every match. I think that was the key for me: every match, I was playing better.”

Fernando Verdasco, who also clinched the doubles title in Rio alongside David Marrero, competed in his first tour-level final since last year in Dubai and fell short of earning his first title since 2016 Bucharest.

“He was much more assertive than me, perhaps a bit in part due to my tiredness and from the tension of the doubles final yesterday, in addition to the last set against Fabio [Fognini] in the semi-finals,” Verdasco told.

“When I served well, he would recover and play better than me.  His legs were more fresh than mine and in the end, he deserved the victory more than me.”