Saturday, October 23, 2021

Diminutive Diego dominates Brooksby in Antwerp semis

Five-foot-7 (1.70-meter) Diego Schwartzman, right,
shakes hands after beating 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter)
 Maxime Cressy in the second round at Indian Wells
this month. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Diego Schwartzman turned the tables on Jenson Brooksby today.
   Reeling off the last nine games, the second-seeded Schwartzman defeated Jenson Brooksby, a 20-year-old qualifier from the Sacramento, Calif., suburb of Carmichael, 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals of the European Open, an ATP 250 indoor hardcourt tournament in Antwerp, Belgium.
   Brooksby had won the last eight games in his 7-5, 6-0 victory over unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain on Friday.
   Brooksby, who played today with tape on his right (playing) arm and stomach, was trying to beat his third consecutive 2021 Grand Slam quarterfinalist. But the 14th-ranked Schwartzman, lightning fast at 5-foot-7 (1.70 meters) and 141 pounds (64 kilograms), outslugged Brooksby from the baseline, no mean feat.
   Schwartzman, 29, climbed to a career-high No. 8 by reaching the French Open semifinals last October. He has beaten Rafael Nadal on clay, the toughest task in tennis.
   Brooksby, who was ranked No. 307 when he turned pro last December, is projected to rise 11 places to No. 59 on Monday. He will turn 21 the next day. 
   By reaching the semifinals, Brooksby qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals, featuring the world's top 21-and-under players, Nov. 9-13 in Milan.
   Schwartzman is scheduled to face another 20-year-old, top-seeded Jannik Sinner of Italy, on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. PDT (Tennis Channel). Sinner, ranked No. 13, routed seventh-seeded Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-2, 6-2.

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