New York born Taro Daniel, who grew up in Japan, is one of the most interesting up and coming players on the ATP World Tour. His family moved to Europe because of his father's business and he went to Spain to train tennis in one of the tennis academies when he was 13. Daniel has a dual citizenship, Japanese and American, but is playing under Japanese flag and has no plans to change that. "I think I'll keep playing for Japan. I think that I am more Japanese than American and think there will be some great benefits if I can become a great tennis player there," commented Taro Daniel this topic.
Unlike many other young players Taro Daniel did not choose an easy way towards the top. Instead of accepting main draw wild cards for tennis tournaments or playing lower ranked events in Asia or Africa, he played most of his tournaments in Spain. If you know something about tennis then you are already well aware of the fact that these Spanish Futures are considered the hardest and the most competitive in the world because of the presence of many local talents and players from around the world that choose Spain for their further tennis development. When Daniel was asked to reflect on his training regimen in Spain he said: "There not much secrets to how we play. You have to be solid and you have to construct points. It's not very technical or super-detailed. I think growing up on clay and hard courts helped with the general construct of the game."
Taro Daniel is definitely a player to watch in next years as he has enough potential to break into Top 100 and obtain the position of second-best players from Japan, after Kei Nishikori. But he is not concentrating just on his ranking at this moment and mainly wants to improve his game. "I don't check all the numbers and results. It puts my head where it's not supposed to be. Just keep playing at a higher level and improve as much as possible."
Taro Daniel's success started in 2011, when he had to build his ranking the hardest way on the Futures events. He did recieve just one main draw wild card all year but went 30-0 in qualifiers, never failing to make the main draw. In addition he went 41-27 in main draw action, advance to two finals and his total number of matches played in 2011 passed the 100 mark. Daniel ended the season as world No. 467 and showed that he has bright future ahead of him.
His steady progress continued also in next years and he reached four finals of Spanish Futures events (won two of them) in 2012 and even added a semifinal appearance of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Yokohama at the end of the year. All these results helped Daniel to finish the year as a world No. 283. Taro Daniel continued his dominance on the Futures level in 2013, winning other two titles and reaching final rounds of almost all events he entered. But he also started to gain experience with matches on higher level, regularly playing on the ATP Challenger Tour in the second part of the season, with final appearance in Yeongwol (lost only to Bradley Klahn) being the highlight of the season. Taro Daniel made it a one step further at the start of the 2014, playing on the ATP World Tour, where he defeated four Top 200 players before failing in the final round of qualifications in Doha and at the Australian Open. His career-best showing on the ATP World Tour came on red clay in Vina del Mar, where Daniel managed to qualify for the main draw and then get his career-first victories on this level, defeating Bellucci and Del Bonis before loosing to Almagro in quarterfinals.
Taro Daniel is a hard-working player, who constructs his points well and has solid movement on the baseline. Thanks to the fact that he grew up and trains in Spain, he knows how to play on the red dirt and considers red clay and hard his favourite surfaces. "I am definitely comfortable on clay. But when I'm feeling great with my tennis, I prefer hardcourt. I like them both, but I think liking clay makes me like anything."
- Date of Birth: 27 January 1993
- Nation: Japan
- Height: 188 cm
- Weight: N/A
- Turned Pro: N/A
- Plays: Right-handed