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'My goal is to beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic once' says World number nine

Diego Schwartzman at Roland Garros

Diego Schwartzman had a breakthrough year in 2020, breaking into the top ten for the first time, beating one his heroes and now he says his sights are set on Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

The World number nine enjoyed his best season on the ATP Tour last year, reaching his first ATP 1000 Masters Final at the Italian Open and beating Rafa Nadal along the way.

He made his first Grand Slam semi-finals at the French Open after an epic five set battle with Dominic Thiem but went on to be beaten by Nadal in the semi-final.

In October, Schwarzman received his highest ever ranking of number eight in the World meaning he then went on to the qualify for his first Nitto ATP Finals in London.

Now, with the ATP Cup in sight followed by the Australian Open, the Argentinian, who at 5ft 7 inches is one of the shortest players on the circuit, has his sights set on bigger things.

"I broke through a barrier [beating Nadal]. Now I can retire saying that I beat him” he told Argentina's La Nacion Magazine.

“Now my outstanding goals are to beat Roger [Federer] once, ‘Nole’ once and then to win more titles."

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Schwartzman, who has won three ATP titles, has huge respect for the Federer, Djokovic and Nadal and is in awe of what they have achieved.

“I would take all of their shots. They make up the ideal player.

"I have had some very good years, 2020 was the best and you ask yourself, ‘How is it possible that these guys have been having seasons thousands of times better than mine since they were 18 and they repeat it every year?’”

When asked if his top ten status and recognition will affect him personally, Schwartzman replied:  “[In tennis], more than selfishness, there’s solitude.

“I have changed my personality a little through being alone. But I think basically I’m still the same. If I ever change, I hope the people around me tell me so.”

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