Daniel Azar returns to the tennis court; Jamaica Tennis
Edging closer to pursuing his professional career, Daniel Azar has worked tremendously hard to reach to the level he is playing at currently.
“I definitely think I am closer to being able to compete professionally. I’ve been working hard and improving every day and I’m very happy with the level my game is at now,” he said.
While acknowledging his current level and the work he has already put in to accomplish all he has, Daniel remains cognizant that more work is required to continue his career, and to ultimately advance to the professional tour.
“There’s a major level change when you go from the junior tour to the professional one. I definitely have to work harder and compete harder. There’s still so much to learn and experience for me but I know I’ll be ready,” he said.
Experience and court time is critical in making that move to the professional tour. In February, Daniel competed in the Davis Cup, as part of the winning Jamaica national men’s tennis team.
“The Davis Cup experience for me was sensational. There is no better feeling than to represent your country on home ground. It’s the first time in years that Jamaica has reached group 2 so obviously the team was ecstatic when we got the result. Now we play Lebanon in September and I’m very confident that we will be more than ready for them.”
INJURY - Daniel Azar returns to the tennis court; Jamaica Tennis
Unfortunately, Daniel suffered an injury earlier this year. However, instead of throwing in the towel, Daniel remained optimistic ensuring that he did everything he could so that he can get back on the court as quickly as possible.
“The major setback for me was my injury. I was feeling very good with where my game was at the time and was very confident in the way how I was playing and improving. But being an athlete, injuries happen…and there is nothing anyone can do about it.”
“So instead of feeling sorry for myself I was still working and improving every day in whichever way was possible. I knew that I would come back stronger and hungrier than ever. Now that I’m back from injury, I’m ready to get back out on court and do what I do best.”
Daniel suffered the injury competing in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) 18 and under junior tournament at the Eric Bell National Tennis Centre. The match was of a very high level and was extremely competitive. It lasted for about 3 ½ hours.
“This match was played back home, so the home crowd was amazing to have behind me the whole way. I lost the first set 6-3 and bounced back in the second set 7-5. In the third set, momentum had shifted and I was feeling very good mentally. At 3-3 I went down with a torn ligament in my left ankle. Cramping at the same time, I was on the ground in a lot of pain and the medical staff came out and helped me. Although physically I was in a lot of pain, mentally, I refused to give up. Disobeying the medical staff, I insisted on them helping me up and I would continue the match. It was pure adrenaline going through my body that I was able to finish that match standing up. I managed to go up 4-3, but unfortunately, was not able to serve, as putting weight on my ankle was impossible. I ended up losing the match 6-4 in the third set, but I was very proud of the way I fought till the end no matter the circumstance.”
“After months of rehab and slowly getting back into training the doctors and my team have just now given me the go ahead to continue training and competing 100%.”
Daniel will be moving on to college in 2024, and he hopes to play for a top college team.
“The plan for me going forward is to start playing professional events. I’m very happy with how my game is coming together and feel that it’s now time to take the next step. I’m also hoping to play for a top college team in 2024, so we’ll see what the future holds.”