Isner and Schwartzman go for the Rome title
Rome is watching not only the return of Novak Djokovic to the usual finals and the continuing unique series of Iga Swiontek – the Polish has already taken 27 matches in a row and is going for a record. The real sensation in tennis right now is going on in doubles – there everyone is torn by American John Isner and Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
The pair seems so strange and awkward, which is why they are so comical and attractive, because Isner is one of the tallest players on the tour, at 208 cm. Schwartzman is one of the shortest guys at a fairly human height of 167 cm. But they’re only taking advantage of that circumstance, a difference of almost half a meter: the duo in the final of the Rome Masters.
And, as you can see from the net, the mix of technique and style is quite a working theme. They beat former world number one Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia, and in the semifinals they walked over Alexei Golubev of Kazakhstan and Alejandro Gonzalez of Argentina, taking the championship tie-break.
The Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic await them in the final
This week’s partnership impressed the public not only with their opposite builds, but also with their tennis. They get along well: John is an excellent serve, and Diego is one of the most experienced and fastest tennis players on the tour, all the more an expert on clay: the guy is very tough. Points on the first serve are regularly over 70%, as is the percentage of break point saves. In addition, they are both very good at hitting from the forehand.
The pair even came up with a nickname, “Isnerman.” The hashtag went viral on Twitter. The tournament organizers themselves are happily hyping the topic as well. PR-specialists of “Rome” actively create newsbreaks and posts: they offer to choose who is better – Batman, Superman, or tennis Isnerman. After the victorious semifinal the players joined to this action: they took photos with a poster #isnerman.
All jokes are jokes, but Isner is going not only for the title, but also for a historical record. John is the first tennis player to reach the doubles final three times with three different players in one year: he took Indian Wells with Jack Sock and Miami with Hubert Hurkacz.
The giant ranks 22nd in the world, having won two doubles titles in 2022 and eight in his career. Schwartzman is 307th in the rankings, but jumped as high as 39th a couple of years ago and is still on his way to his first doubles trophy – the Argentine has been to four finals. His last was a match against Dominic Tim in Madrid 2019, before that he played in Buenos Aires also with the Austrian.
By the way, both have contracts with the clothing firm Fila. What if this is a planned action of the brand to increase recognition and not just a coincidence? Generally speaking, doubles in tennis needs these kinds of collaborations. Remember how Nick Kyrios and Tanasie Kokkinakis rocked at their home Australian Open – 2022. It was sold out and everyone came to see the colorful Aussies.
On May 15 this dual will go for the title against Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, last year’s top duo who silenced Italian fans by beating Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini. The Croatian tandem are the reigning champions of Rome, but they have yet to take the trophy in 2022, having lost the finals in Dubai and Belgrade. That means Isnerman has a good chance to put up a fight against the favorites.