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SPORTS | 08-03-2021 14:35

Diego Schwartzman claims Argentina Open title

Diego Schwartzman beat Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday to lift the ATP Argentina Open.

Local favourite Diego Schwartzman beat compatriot Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday to lift the ATP Argentina Open.

It was a fourth ATP Tour title for the world number nine and top seed on the Buenos Aires clay.

Cerundolo was a surprise finalist and had been involved in the most controversial match earlier in the week when he dumped Frenchman Benoit Paire, who was docked a point for spitting and then appeared to throw his final service game, out of the tournament.

Schwartzman never gave the world number 137 a chance, though, and stormed to the title without dropping a set in his four matches this week.

It was redemption of sorts for the 28-year-old who had to pull out of his semi-final against Portugal's Pedro Sousa through injury last year.

"It's impressive. The truth is I finished up crying last year but this time it is joy that makes me emotional," said Schwartzman, who also took badly his quarter-final defeat to Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinales last week in Cordoba.

"Last week I thought I was the worst person in the country and now I'm happy."

It was Schwartzman's first career success in his home country having lost the final in Buenos Aires in 2019 and been defeated in Cordoba last year.

"I'm proud to win now. It's also important for Argentine tennis because Fran [Cerundolo] is a player with great potential."

Cerundolo, 22, was unable to match his 19-year-old brother Juan Manuel's feat from last week where he lifted the Córdoba title.

It was the first time an Argentine had won in Buenos Aires since David Nalbandian in 2008.

– AFP

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