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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday March 24, 2023

Taro Daniel

Taro Daniel notched his third Top-25 win of the season, taking out Alexander Zverev to reach the third round in Miami.

Photo Source: Getty

When it comes to big upsets in 2023, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player on a better run than Taro Daniel since last month.

Tennis Express

The 30-year-old had just two Top-25 wins to his name before played in Acapulco this year. Since then he has added three, against No.4-ranked Casper Ruud in Acapulco, No.23-ranked Matteo Berrettini at Indian Wells and – on Friday – over No.15 Alexander Zverev.

Daniel, who took a wild card into Miami this year, hasn’t had it easy of late, however. He lost his mother last October, and is still trying to adjust to competing on tour again.

“The lessons that life and death show us cannot be explained and are only to be felt,” he said in a tribute to her on Instagram last year.

As he soldiers on in 2023, it’s clear that Daniel is playing some of his greatest tennis. The high quality wins he has achieved are proof of that. Though Zverev was struggling with his energy on Friday – he even had to give himself an insulin shot during a changeover – the real story of the contest is how decisively Daniel was able to play against Zverev as he took charge of the contest and never allowed the German a break point opportunity.

“In the first set he was struggling and I just didn’t want to let him get his rhythm back,” Daniel said. “Sometimes it’s a matter of letting them keep playing badly. It’s a little bit of a dirty fight.”

Daniel, who has reached the third round at Miami for the first time, will face Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the third round on Sunday in Miami.

“Sometimes you don’t know why things turn around and you have success. You keep rolling and it just happens. My plan is to keep accumulating more and more of these wins more consistently."


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