Diego Schwartzman and Guido Pella have reached the third round of the Australian Open—the first Grand Slam of the 2020 season.
Both players boast a top-25 ranking in the world, Schwartzman at 14 and Pella at 25.
Schwartzman, 27, has become internationally known for his hustle and his height — a mere 1.7 metres — making him one the shortest player on tour. ‘El Peque’ won his first two rounds in Melbourne with ease, defeating South African Lloyd Harris, 22, and Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 20, in straight sets. Neither player is currently ranked in the top 70.
The Buenos Aires native will now take on Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in the third round, a player who has given Schwartzman trouble in the past. The Argentine won their most recent encounter in 2018 — also at the Australian Open — in a five-set thriller in the first round. However, in their other two match-ups — both of which occurred on clay — the duo split victories. They face off this evening at 9pm, Buenos Aires time.
Schwartzman is coming off one of his best seasons yet. He made it to the quarter finals of the US Open, losing to the eventual champion, Rafael Nadal. Currently ranked 14, he is hoping to surpass his previous record of being ranked 11 as recently as June of 2018. A deep run at the Australian Open would certainly help his cause.
Schwartzman has won over US$7 million in prize money throughout his career. Winning the Australian Open would net him nearly US$3 million.
Guido Pella, 29, faces Italian Fabio Fognini, 32, who is ranked 12 in the world. The two have also faced off three times before, and Pella has won two of three battles — most recently on a clay court in Munich.