0Japanese tennis player Taro Daniel spoke highly of rising Swedish star Elias Ymer after suffering a loss to the Swede in the Australian Open qualifying final round. Daniel, ranked at No. 116 in the world, stood no chance against world No.
4 Ymer in the qualifying final round as the Swede demolished the Japanese 6-1 6-2 to earn his third main draw appearance at the Australian Open. Ymer started the match on the best possible way as he won the opening five games of the match.
Daniel got on the board in the sixth game but it did not change much as Ymer served out for the opener in the seventh game. In the second set, Ymer claimed two breaks and lost no service games to clinch a straight-set win.
"Elias played extremely well," Daniel exclusively told tennisportalen. "I was not surprised of the level he produced but I was a surprised that he kept the level during the whole match because i did not play a “bad” match.
I could’ve played better of course but he completely smothered me the whole way. He played more aggressively than I remember and did very few mistakes. "One mistake I made was that I didn’t pressure him enough after I hit a good deep ball.
I was hitting the ball fine but I never took the extra step forward to take time away from him, which I assume made him feel comfortable. He seemed very calm during the match."
Daniel will play in the Australian main draw
Despite the loss in the Australian Open qualifying round, Daniel will still make his appearance at Melbourne Park as he was drawn as a lucky loser.
"In the beginning of December, it looked like the qualifying would be cancelled, which would mean that I would make the direct cut of main draw with my ranking. But then they came up with the solution of making it happen in the Middle East," Daniel revealed.
Daniel, a former world No. 64, is hoping to soon return to the top-100. "For now my goal is to get back into top-100 which would also mean making Olympics in the summer, but I know it’ll get there as long as I stick to concentrating on what I have to do to improve.
I’ve been working a lot also on my mental strength which is something I’ve improved a lot on but has endless possibilities," Daniel said