Japanese wildcard Taro Daniel admits he entered his round-of-16 match at the Japan Open nervous as he knew there was expectation on him to put up a big performance again. Daniel, ranked at No. 127 in the world, handed a straight-set defeat to 56th-ranked Jordan Thompson 6-4 7-6 (3) to progress into his maiden Tokyo quarterfinal.
Previously, the Japanese kicked off his Tokyo campaign with a shock first round win over second-seeded Croatian Borna Coric. Daniel, 26, wrote history at the Japan Open as for the first time since 1972 the tournament is set to have two local players in the quarterfinal.
"I was a little bit more nervous for this match than the first match because obviously after having a big win in the first round, everyone was starting to expect me to win the second round, maybe," Daniel said post-match, per the ATP website.
"Also, I was expecting myself to maybe do that. But I was able to accept that pretty well and played pretty well today." Daniel plays next against qualifier John Millman of Australia, who beat Lloyd Harris to progress into the quarterfinal.
A day earlier, Daniel's fellow compatriot Yasutaka Uchiyama beat Radu Albot to set up a quarterfinal meeting against Reilly Opelka.