Tennis Prose



David and Goliath in Reverse: Schwartzman Slayed By A Boy

ATP world no. 15 Diego Schwartaman suffered one of the most shocking defeats in tennis history as he lost to a virtual unknown junior in the Davis Cup tie in Buenos Aires last week. 29 year old Schwartzman, who has beaten Rafael Nadal in Rome and reached the semis of Roland Garros in 2020 and quarterfinals in two other Grand Slams, was beaten by Belarusian teenager Daniil Ostapenko 64 63.

18 year old Ostapenkov is unranked in the ATP and no. 63 in the ITF Juniors. His most recent tournament in Juniors was at a J2 Grade 2 level event in Novi Sad earlier this month where he lost in the first round 60 63 to Nikola Jovanovic.

Schwartzman admitted he felt lost against the kid nobody had ever heard of. “I could never find my way around the match. He played perfect. His serve and forehand hurt me a lot,” explained Schwartzman after the astonishing loss. “I also think it was one of the worst matches of my professional career.”

Ostapenkov did not play junior boys Wimbledon, Roland Garros, Australian Open or US Open this year. He has not won any ITF Junior tournaments this year, though he did reach the finals of a Grade 1 in Pancevo, Serbia in August, losing to Poland’s Olaf Pieczkowski 75 61.

But one win can alter a career and certainly now Daniil Ostapenkov’s name has been establishes in the tennis universe.

Ostapenkov has some pro match experience prior to last week’s Davis Cup. He actually made his Davis Cup debut for Belarus in 2020 vs Germany where he was defeated by Dominic Koepfer 60 62.

After defeating Schwartzman last week, Ostapenkov played the Sunday singles match vs Federico Coria and lost 63 61.

Argentina did manage to defeat Belarus overall in the Davis Cup World Group I tie 4-1.

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