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By: Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Diego Schwartzman was asked on Monday in Rome if he was worried about playing best-of-five sets on clay at Roland Garros. The experienced Argentine said that he was not concerned about that before adding that something else did worry him: taking another Covid test.

Tennis Express

With over five players already being removed from the Roland Garros qualifying draw due to positive Covid tests (from a player or an individual in their teams), Schwartzman says it can be a nerve-wracking experience.

“I'm worried about the first Covid test, really,” he said. “Right now it's the worst thing you can do in the tournament. You are waiting, you can't sleep because maybe it's a false, maybe not, and you don't know if you are going to play the tournament.”

Schwartzman, who reached his first Masters 1000 final at Rome after defeating Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and Denis Shapovalov in the semis, says you just never know. He points out that there were a lot of people on site Monday after his final with Novak Djokovic, and many that were close to him during the trophy ceremony.

“Right now it's the only thing I'm thinking, because today we have a lot of people here, people in the ceremony, so you know, I'm just scared about the first test. But after that I hope to enjoy it. I hope to play good tennis, and if this happens I know I have chances."

It also must be incredibly stressful having to travel from Rome to Paris--a necessary but treacherous risk that players must take. Nothing is easy during a global pandemic, and with coronavirus cases rising rapidly in France, it cannot be easy for players to navigate this new reality while remaining focused on preparing for a Grand Slam.

But this is the task that the players face. Qualifying is already underway for both the men’s and women’s singles draws, with two days of play in the books.

And earlier today, Tennis Now’s Erik Gudris provided an update on the situation in France, highlighting the frustration that Damir Dzhumhur is feeling after being disqualified from the event due to a positive test by his coach, Petar Popovic.

Schwartzman: Rafa's the King, it's his House

The Argentine faced both Nadal and Djokovic in Rome, but despite the victory over Nadal and the loss to Djokovic Schwartzman, like most players and pundits, is tabbing Rafa as the favorite. The Spaniard, a 12-time champion, has certainly earned that status by going 93-2 in 15 appearances in Paris.

"It's a difficult question,” Schwartzman said, when he was asked about who he’d name as the favorite. “Novak didn't lose a match on court this year, happened to him the default, but not losing a normal match this year so he's going with a lot of confidence, knowing that. And Rafa is the king, it's his house, so he went to Roland Garros many years playing good, sometimes not playing his best and he won. He won 12 times, so it's a difficult question, I think Rafa is always there, the guy who is going to win, but Dominic and Novak, many guys are arriving there playing good matches on clay.”

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