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Without ranking and without clothes: the perfect stranger who beat Diego Schwartzman in Davis Cup


Belarusian Daniil Ostapenkov is 18 years old and plays on the junior circuit. "We were looking for how he played, but we did not find anything," admitted the Argentine.

09/18/2021 3:55 PM

  • Clarí

  • sports

Updated 09/18/2021 3:55 PM

The official website of the Professional Tennis Association states that "Unfortunately

we have no information on this player


His photograph does not appear, the box that should indicate his position in the ranking is empty and there are only two pieces of information: his date of birth (May 8, 2003) and a characteristic of his game, he

is right-handed and hits two-handed the reverse


Daniil Ostapenkov

starred in one of the biggest surprises in Argentine Davis Cup history by beating Diego Schwartzman in straight sets this Saturday in the first match of the series.

The previous one offered little data and a calm scene.

It is that on the return to

Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis

, and with the return of a percentage of the public capacity in the stadium, Peque, the national racket,

number 15 in the world

, opened the match against Belarus against an 18-year-old boy that he could only hold a spot on Junior's 63rd rung.

His previous participation in Davis was in Germany, in March 2020, and ended in a resounding defeat.

"More than the pressure for favoritism," Schwartzman warned on Friday, "what will make this series difficult is that

we do not know the rivals

, we do not know how they play or what we are going to find."

His only Davis Cup match until Guillermo Vilas of Buenos Aires jumped to court had been in March 2020, against Germany and ended with a resounding 6-0, 6-2 defeat to Dominik Koepfer in Dusseldorf.

After the long stop due to the pandemic, the Belarusian continued his way on the Juniors circuit.

He never played a professional tournament, not even a Future.

And in Junior he has won two titles: a J5 in Minsk in 2019 and another J5 in Chornomorsk in 2020.

In August this year, as he portrayed in the publications he uploaded to his Instagram account, a J1 in Pančevo, Serbia, was consecrated in doubles with the Russian Konstantin Zhzhenov.

And he lost the final in singles.

From there he went to play the J2 of Novi Sad, also in Serbia, and lost in the first round to local Nikola Jovanovic, 804th in the junior ranking.

It was his last game before traveling to Argentina


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 🅓🅐🅝🅨🅐 (@ daniil.ostapenkov)

The experience at the Davis in this initial series of World Group I is also portrayed on the social networks of the 18-year-old, who published step by step from the trip that began in Minsk, stopping in Frankfurt,

to an impressive view from the hotel in downtown Buenos Aires


The ease and efficiency that he had on the field to achieve a historic triumph

turned into surprise

when he faced the microphones in the subsequent press conference.

The Belarusian still looked incredulous.

"It was a great victory, the most important of my career against one of the best players in the world. I hope the team continues to play well and that we can give Belarus the victory.

I don't always play like that, it was a special match and a surprise too. for me,

"he confessed.

Across the street, Schwartzman's desolation was mixed with helplessness: "We were looking for information about how he played to be able to plan the game, but there was no way to find anything," said Peque.

He forgot his clothes, but he wore tennis

Daniil Ostapenkov in action, in his improvised outfit.

Photo Pepe Mateos / Telam

To crown an atypical scenario, 

Ostapenkov forgot the official team clothes

at the hotel where the Belarusian delegation is staying and went out to play in training clothes: a plain gray T-shirt that did not even say the name of the country and a blue shorts.

But when the action began, the plot changed completely and he became the hero of the day, playing with great intensity and submitting from the beginning an unknown Schwartzman who had no reaction.

The Peque, too late on the court and playing short, began to be overtaken by the Belarusian who took the opening set 6-4 in 45 minutes.

In the second quarter, Schwartzman failed with his serve and did not find answers in the return, thus he was down 4-0 and with the feeling that he could not reverse the game.

The public (about 3 thousand people were allowed in) took note of the Argentine's bad moment 

and began to cheer him loudly

, and also celebrated every unforced error of the European youth to pressure him.

Ostapenkov, with the tactic of launching deep shots and playing each time he could with missiles on the lines, stood firm and connected a total of 30 winners that left the match served to finally define it 6-4.

"I did practically everything wrong. I think I was playing worse and worse, well below my level, today was very poor," said the Argentine, who had a series of 10 wins at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis since 2019. and a single defeat in the final of that year against Italian Marco Cecchinato.

A historic defeat

Taking into account the current ATP ranking, none of the players in the top 15 places

lost a match to a youth rival who was not on the roster


The closest thing to what Schwartzman had to suffer was the fall of Rafael Nadal in Stockholm 2006. The Spaniard was number 2 in the world and lost in the second round against Swede Joachim Johansson (690 °)

Look also

Diego Schwartzman and a tough defeat in the Davis Cup: "I did everything wrong"

Davis Cup: emotional tribute to Diego Maradona with Dalma and Claudia Villafañe at the stadium

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-09-18

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