Diego Schwartzman goes into his French Open semi-final armed with something he's never had before: the knowledge that he can beat Rafael Nadal on clay.
Or at all for that matter.
Argentina's Schwartzman is the last man to have beaten the King of Clay on his favoured surface, inflicting an Italian Open quarter-finals defeat on Nadal just last month.
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However, that win represented the first time Schwartzman had ever beaten Nadal over the course of his career, with the Spaniard winning all nine of their previous head-to-heads matches.
It's that renewed sense of belief that has left Nadal and his coach Carlos Moya wary about the Argentine’s threat at Roland Garros.
Moya admits that Schwartzman’s unpredictable game poses a significant challenge that the World No.2 will have to find a way to overcome.
"He's a player we respect a lot, despite always beating him until Rome. He's always been an uncomfortable opponent," said Moya.
"Now he has made a leap mentally, before he had a hard time facing difficult moments against Rafa. Perhaps now he won't hesitate as much as before."
The two players have met previously at Roland Garros, with Nadal triumphing in four sets in the quarter-finals of the 2018 edition, following a rain delay.
Following Schwartzman’s first win in 10 attempts at last month’s Italian Open, Moya says Nadal has learnt from his mistakes.
"Rafa didn't handle the problems well there and Schwartzman took advantage of it," said Moya.
"It's what happens with opponents of this calibre, if you don't play well and he does, you lose for sure."
Spaniard chasing century of French Open wins
Nadal holds an astonishing 98-2 record at the French Open and could bring up an unthinkable century of wins at the Paris major if he can claim a record-extending 13th title.
"Rafa is Rafa, this is Roland Garros and Philippe Chatrier, there's history and we must continue it," Moya added.
However, Schwartzman served a warning with his five-set win over US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who had finished runner-up to Nadal the past two years in Paris.
The Spaniard’s coach says while they are wary of Schwartzman’s weapons, the primary focus for Nadal is on his own game.
"The main thing is to play a good match. Then you can apply one plan or another," Moya said.
"We know what we want to do but we will see if Schwartzman allows it to be put into practice."
Nadal has made no secret of his belief that this will be the toughest defence of his French Open crown, given the colder conditions and lower bounces following a change of ball supplier.
"There's nothing that can be done about it," Moya added.
"He's trying to play more aggressively, more direct than in other clay tournaments."
If Nadal is able to find a way past Schwartzman, he'll be on course to meet Novak Djokovic in the French Open final, provided the World No.1 can beat Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas.
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