MATCH POING: Diego Schwartzman (ARG) def. Jaume Munar (ESP) in the 2022 Buenos Aires second round.

Defending champion Diego Schwartzman needed a grueling two and a half hours to make a winning return to the Argentina Open on Thursday night, fighting past Spain’s Jaume Munar 7-6(2), 7-6(4).

Argentina’s top-ranked player delighted home fans last year when he lifted his first trophy on home soil, and his fourth ATP Tour title overall, at ‘the Cathedral of Argentinean Tennis’ in Buenos Aires.

After Court Guillermo Vilas witnessed the emotional final match of beloved Argentine champion Juan Martin del Potro at the start of the week, Schwartzman is determined to give them something more to cheer about—even though the second seed admitted that he feels the additional pressure that homegrown players feel to perform well at this event.

“We’re the first ones who put pressure on ourselves and create enough expectations for us to perform well here. Then there is everything that happens outside [the court], but that is always there,” Schwartzman said in a pre-tournament interview. “Sometimes it’s easier to blame unforced errors, but the expectations are always there.”

If there were any signs of nerves or pressure, Schwartzman did well to tamp them down when he faced the determined Munar in their second-round match. Munar came into the match trailing 0-3 in their head-to-head record, but already with a match under his belt in Buenos Aires while Schwartzman was contesting his opening match after a bye.


The World No. 15 struggled to put distance between himself and the Spaniard on the scoreboard, with Munar keeping himself within striking distance as he rallied from a break down in each set. But in each decisive tiebreak, Schwartzman finally pulled away.

He had to overcome a nervy finish as Munar saved six match points in the second set—including four points in the tiebreak after Schwartzman opened up a 6-0 lead. But Schwartzman finally sealed the victory after two hours and 24 minutes, ripping a forehand to move into the quarterfinals.

“It was difficult, for many moments I was doing things very well, and in others I was making a lot of bad errors. He’s a very intelligent player,” Schwartzman told TyC Sports afterward. “For about 80% of the point, I felt I was playing much better than him, but when it was time to win the point the last ball went his way.

“The match didn’t seem to end. It’s the second round of an ATP 250, but for me all matches are finals.”

Schwartzman’s victory rounds out the Buenos Aires quarterfinals—where home fans have even more reason to celebrate. The tournament now features four Argentines in the last eight for the first time since 2018, when Guido Pella, Leo Mayer, Schwartzman and Federico Delbonis advanced to this stage. This year, Francisco Cerundolo and Federico Coria joined Schwartzman and Delbonis in the quarterfinals.

Schwartzman, the No. 2 seed, will next face qualifier Cerundolo in a rematch of last year’s all-Argentine final.