18 Things to Know About Jewish Tennis Player Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman is currently the highest-ranked Jewish tennis player in the world. Born to a Jewish family in Argentina, he’s captured the hearts of tennis fans worldwide — including ours. So, time for 18 things to know about Diego Schwartzman? Obviously.

diego schwartzman

1. He was born and raised in a Jewish family in Buenos Aires. His family emigrated from Germany.

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Hermanitos ❤️

A post shared by Diego Schwartzman (@dieschwartzman) on

2. He was named after the Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona. (Maradona, famously, was 5’5″.)

3. He attended Hebrew school but said, “I did not have time for Hebrew school because of tennis.” He still had a bar mitzvah.

4. He started playing tennis at age 7. When, at age 13, a doctor told him he wouldn’t grow beyond 5’7″, he came home and told his parents, “I’m not going to play tennis anymore.” His mom, in classic Jewish mom fashion, refused to let him give up. “He told me he wasn’t going to do anything well in life if the doctor was right. I told Diego he was wrong and his height shouldn’t have an influence on his dreams because since the day he was born, I knew he would become something special. I pushed him to keep fighting,” she said.

5. Okay, one more quote from Silvana, Diego’s amazing mom: “He had incredible timing, even at a young age. I’d play in the long corridors of the local tennis club and Diego would spend hours with my husband on the court. He wasn’t even as tall as the height of the net at the time. Still, he never wanted to play with a junior racquet; it always had to be a big racquet. He played soccer as a child as well, but the things he was capable of doing in tennis were out of the ordinary. And he had flair; he’d boast to us about beating players who were a lot taller than him.”

6. He played in the Hacoaj JCC club in Buenos Aires, a social clubfounded by and for Jews who were barred from the other sports facilities in Bueno Aires in the early 20th century.”

7. “I am Jewish and in Argentina, we have many Jewish [people] there, and all the people there know me,” he said.

8. He and his mom would sell bracelets in between matches to help fund their travels to tournaments where Diego would play.

9. In 2018, his grandmother told JTA, “I suffered like crazy, but finally I’m happy for him, is a very good grandson, and despite his success he is still humble, he is still the same, he is still good people, a nice boy.” Awww.

10. His whole family is super proud (“muy orgullo“) of Diego. His siblings often attend his matches, and post the sweetest messages on Instagram:

11. His mom is also on Instagram, where she posts classic mom posts, like having him pose next to a picture of himself:

And low-quality throwback photos:

And screenshots of her son’s Instagram:

And his name on the bracket:

(Are we obsessed with Diego Schwartzman’s mom? Maybe.)

12. Diego often shares photos of his family, too:

That hair!!

And he’s a very doting uncle:

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Jugando con mi personaje favorito!!! 😍🎾❤️

A post shared by Diego Schwartzman (@dieschwartzman) on

 

13. He’s nicknamed “El Peque,” or shorty, and takes it in stride. Although he’s not the biggest server, he is known for his “deadly returning.”

14. During the French Open last year, after defeating 6’8″ Kevin Anderson, he said to reporters, “Did you read David and Goliath?” (A+ biblical reference, Diego!)

15. He’s a big fan of Club Atlético Boca Juniors, so much that it’s in his Twitter bio.

diego

His official Twitter bio says “Hobbies include playing football, watching Boca Juniors and listening to reggaeton music.”

16. His career-high ranking was number 11 in the world, in June 2018.

17. In 2019, he reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open — his third Grand Slam quaterfinal — where he is set to play Rafael Nadal.

18.  We’re cheering for you, Diego Schwartzman!!

diego schwartzman

Image of Diego Schwartzman in header by Al Bello/Getty Images.

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