Diego Schwartzman, the 28-year-old Jewish tennis star, won his hometown Argentina Open on Sunday for the first time, beating a countryman in the final.
The top-seeded Schwartzman, who grew up in Buenos Aires, defeated unseeded Francisco Cerundulo in straight sets to win the $24,400 champion’s share. It was the first time a local player had won the tournament in 13 years.
“I’m very happy, I wanted to play well today, the atmosphere was spectacular,” Schwartzman said, while crying after the match. “I haven’t words, just emotion and happiness.”
Schwartzman, who, at 5-foot-7, carries the nickname “El Peque” (Shorty), reached the final at the so-called Cathedral of Argentine tennis in 2019. As a child, he played at the Hacoaj JCC in the Argentine capital and helped inaugurate a sports team there earlier this year.
The Buenos Aires ATP tournament is organized by another Jewish tennis player, Martin Jaite, also a local hero because of his success in the 1980s and ’90s.
Schwartzman is the world’s highest-ranked Jewish player at No. 9 in the ATP rankings. Israeli Dudi Sela, at age 35, is ranked 240th.