Day 10 diary: Argentina celebrates Nadia, Diego heroics

Our Tuesday digest features Podoroska, Schwartzman, Svitolina and lots more.

Nadia Podoroska, Roland-Garros 2020, quarts de finale©Philippe Montigny / FFT
 - Danielle Rossingh

Argentina went mad for Nadia Podoroska and Diego Schwartzman, while Elina Svitolina was philosophical in defeat.

The second Tuesday of Roland-Garros had everything: Schwartzman moved into his first major semi-final after a dramatic five-hour victory over US Open winner Dominic Thiem, while Polish teenager Iga Swiatek ended the fairytale run of Italy’s Martina Trevisan to reach the last four for the first time.

Here some highlights from Day 10 at Roland-Garros...

Argentina goes mad for Diego and Nadia

The surprise runs of Podoroska and Schwartzman into the semi-finals in Paris had the whole of Argentina on the edge of their seats.

Writing on Twitter, former US Open winner Gabriela Sabatini said Schwartzman’s five-set victory over two-time finalist Thiem of Austria had rendered her “speechless". The five-time Roland-Garros semi-finalist lauded Schwartzman’s “pure fight, heart and courage”.

Juan Martin Del Potro, a two-time semi-finalist in Paris and 2009 US Open champion is sidelined due to a lengthy battle with a knee injur but he made sure to follow the action from a far, posting a message of encouragement to his two compatriots.

“Little giants. Have a great time!" tweeted Del Potro, who many refer to as the "Gentle Giant".

Argentine basketball legend Manu Ginobili was busy live-tweeting both matches throughout the day.

“I'm exhausted of only watching this game. More than four hours of play and one set to go. Amazing players!” he said during the Schwartzman-Thiem marathon.

Earlier in the day, Ginobili also hailed Podoroska's "impressive" upset of Svitolina.

Schwartzman had a funny moment on court when interviewed by Cedric Pioline after the match.

Pioline paid tribute to both players and said it was probably one of those occasions where "both players deserved to win".

"Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world - winning the last Grand Slam, two times final here, we are friends, I have a lot of respect for him and that's why this match is very, very important for me. Not just to played a good match, winning after five hours on Philippe-Chatrier, first time, I played a few times five sets here, and I never won. This is the third time I played five sets here. And I think at the end, this night, I deserved to win," he said with a huge grin on his face.

Nothing a cup of tea can't fix

Credit to a bitterly disappointed Svitolina for being able to put her crushing 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Argentine qualifier Podoroska in perspective.

The third-seeded Ukrainian had been the highest seed left in the draw and had been hoping to go all the way after quarter-final appearances in 2015 and 2017.

“Of course I'm sad because I put lots of work into it, lots of time, it's disappointing,” Svitolina said in a news conference. “But I think it's important just to try to analyse, try to take positives out of the matches that I won here and Strasbourg, as well.

“So it's life. There is bad days. We are learning from those kind of moments when it's really tough. It makes you stronger, makes you even better as a person and you have to just analyse and grow from it.

"You have to try to find something positive. There is always something bad in life, but you have to try (to find a way to smile)... maybe a good cup of tea will make you smile."

Svitolina is already looking ahead to 2021.

“I had the opportunity but it didn't happen, and right now it's for sure upsetting, but in the end life continues,” she said. “There is a new season coming up.”

Perfect start for Collins and Almagro

Coachless heading to Paris, Danielle Collins hired Spanish former top-10 player Nicolas Almagro as her coach a week ago.

And what a perfect start it has been.

The unseeded American backed up her defeat of former champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the third round with a hard-fought three-set victory against No.30 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia in the fourth round on Tuesday.

“Nico has had a great impact on my tennis already because he understands what I go through on the court because he's been in this position many times before,” Collins said after moving to her first Roland-Garros quarter-final. “He's had a very long, successful career on tour.”

Almagro certainly knows his way around the clay: he is a three-time quarter-finalist in Paris, while all of his 13 career titles were won on the red dirt.

When asked what the 35-year-old Spaniard has taught her in the past week, Collins said: “I think the mentality. We have been focusing a lot on my mental strength on the court and using that as a weapon. So that's probably the biggest thing.”

The 57th-ranked Collins will need all her fighting spirit for her next match against fellow American Sofia Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion who loves a good battle on the court.

“We've had some great matches in the past, and she's obviously had a lot of success this year playing some really great tennis here,” said Collins, who has won all three career meetings against the No.4 seed. “So I know that it's going to be another battle and another fun match.”

Jabeur’s title tip

After her previous round, Jabeur amused reporters by walking into the press conference room wearing a face mask bearing a cartoon caricature of Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I'm Team Tsitsipas," she declared.

She was put in a tight spot on Tuesday when asked in her press conference if she believed the men's tournament would witness a final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“Well, I know that Rafa is unbelievable on clay court,” the Tunisian said after her defeat to Collins. “He's playing young talented player today, so I don't know how that's gonna go. But Rafa is still Rafa on the clay. I'm hoping to see Tsitsipas go far here. I'm also really supporting him anywhere. It could go like Nadal-Djokovic, but I always hope that Tsitsipas goes far here.”