Phillips reaches main draw in Seville
Daniel Phillips achieved a milestone competing at the Rafa Nadal Tour by Mapfre in Seville, Spain yesterday.
The 14-year-old reached the main draw of the tournament for the first time after defeating Spaniard Arturu Zard in a gruelling third-round qualifying match that went to a third set tiebreak.
Phillips prevailed 7-6, 2-6 to advance to the main draw, which starts today, where he will meet an opponent yet to be confirmed.
The match was played on the same court where Phillips was eliminated at the same event last year.
“I walked on the court knowing I had lost on the same court two years ago and said to myself ‘I am going to overcome this’,” Phillips said.
“In the first set, the opponent had three set points in the tie break and I kept calm. In the second set, he was getting control of the points and in the third set, we went to tie break, and I won 10- 5.”
Phillips won by a walkover in the opening qualifying round after his opponent Daniel Cruz failed to show.
He then simply dominated his next opponent Silviu Buzgau 6-0, 6-0 without dropping a point in the second-qualifying round before outlasting Zard in the third and final qualifying round to keep his title bid on track.
“I am keeping my routine; waking up early, eating the same meal for breakfast, stretching and trying to do everything I can to be ready,” Phillips said.
Phillips, who celebrated his fourteenth birthday at the weekend, is learning his craft at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Majorca, where he has made significant strides towards his objective of becoming a professional player.
“I’m pleased with how I have grown not just in tennis but also in other things,” he added.
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