Five Things To Know

Five Things To Know About Taro Daniel

Learn about Alcaraz's second-round Roland Garros opponent
May 31, 2023
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
By ATP Staff

Taro Daniel will on Wednesday try to reach the third round at Roland Garros for the first time on his seventh main draw appearance. There is a significant hurdle in his way to a place in the last 32, though.

Daniel will play World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who is pursuing his first trophy at the clay-court major. Before they meet on Court Philippe-Chatrier, looks at five things to know about the 30-year-old Daniel, who is No. 112 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

Taro Is A Man Of The World
Daniel is Japanese, was born in New York and trained in Spain for 10 years. His father, Paul, had a job that required the family to travel around the world. 

Taro began playing tennis on clay aged seven, when his father introduced him to the sport. His younger sister, Kana Daniel, played college tennis for the University of Pennsylvania.

You May Also Like: How Daniel Has Turned Tragedy To Triumph

Spanish Roots
Daniel spent 10 years training in Spain, which he credits for the development of his game. After defeating Andy Murray at the 2022 Australian Open, he said in a press conference, “I feel 30 per cent Spanish, a little bit.”

His longtime base was Valencia. Daniel trained at a facility where Spanish great David Ferrer practised, and he was able to learn from the former World No. 3.

He Has Suffered Recent Tragedy
The past year has been a difficult one for Daniel, whose mother, Yasue, passed away on 31 October 2022. The Japanese player took most of November off and struggled for motivation at the beginning of this season.

“I don’t know if the deceased look over tennis,” Daniel said. “I think they’re way beyond tennis or anything. But definitely that was also a great part of my growth for sure, because it was of course very difficult.”

Big-Match Player
The Japanese star is 1-8 against Top 10 players in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, but has often risen to the occasion against top opponents on the world’s biggest stages.

In 2018, Daniel stunned Novak Djokovic at the BNP Paribas Open. Last season in Melbourne, he ousted Murray and this year in Acapulco he claimed his first Top 10 triumph over World No. 4 Casper Ruud.

Intriguing Off-Court Interests
Daniel enjoys playing ping pong, listening to classic rock music and watching movies.

The 30-year-old is a fan of Led Zeppelin and Woody Allen movies. Daniel once read one of the books written by John McEnroe and when the American wrote about playing music, he wished he could return to those times to meet rockstars of the day.

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