Daniel Galán, Colombia’s surprise at Roland Garros

Daniel Galán, Colombia's surprise at Roland Garros

Daniel Galán (153 °) is one of the great revelations of the 2020 edition of Roland Garros. Classified to the main draw as “lucky loser“, debuted before Cameron Norrie (72nd) and Tennys Sandgren (47th) defeating both to get your first two wins in a Grand Slam.

Despite being the best ranked Colombian tennis player and having starred in a surprising victory in the Davis Cup against Argentina (he won in the decisive match against Juan Ignacio Londero), At 24, Galán had not taken off on the circuit. Her best appearances had been in. 2019 Houston ATP 250 (lost in the semifinals to Casper Ruud) and in the Challengers level. His best ranking was 140 ° just eight months ago.

His beginnings in tennis were not like those of any normal boy. The born in the city of Bucaramanga comes from a middle class family and sports lover. Both his parents, his two sisters (Sat and Rocío) and his brother (Xando) practiced volleyball, soccer and tennis. The latter was the one that had the greatest impact on all of them and Xando was the one that went the furthest, ranking as 650 ° in 2007.

Prince, when trying to imitate what he did, He began to dedicate full time to sports since he was 17 years old, when after a talk with his parents he left school. “We noticed him very determined. He wanted to be a professional tennis player. and for that he needed to get in his head. We understood him, we supported him and time proved him right, “his mother Doris told La Vanguardia newspaper in Bucaramanga in 2018.

The lack of money to go out to compete outside of Colombia was the main reason why the Colombian started later than early on the circuit. His father had thought of mortgaging the house to pay for his trips his son but his mother Doris avoided him. “They came up with the story of the house, because the father of Juan Pablo Montoya (former Formula 1 driver) had done the same, but not with me. That was the Montoya, I do not support that madness,” he reminded the newspaper La Vanguardia of Bucaramanga in 2018.

His training up to that point was based on rallying in front of a wall, being supervised by his father (improvised tennis coach) or training with his sisters. Only two years after professionalizing, he obtained his first ATP points by beating Spaniard Pere Riba in the first round of Bogotá’s ATP 250 7-6 (3) and 6-3.

A particular data of Daniel Galán’s story is that his diet is vegetarian. Since he was born, his parents fed him that way since Santos had adopted this way of life at university and Doris had done it as a result of a health problem, recommended by a doctor, according to the official ATP website. “Food and environmental awareness was instilled in me since I was born. And as a tennis player I have not felt that it affects me “, Daniel assures to the same site.

Although at 24 he has not yet achieved what he has done for other tennis players such as Alejandro Falla (former No. 48) and Santiago Giraldo (former No. 28) Like being a Top 100 at 23, Galán is writing his own path in his own way. Giraldo, whom has been an idol since childhood, faced him in the 2016 Guayaquil Challenger and he had the pleasure of beating him 7-5, 3-6 and 6-3. “When I was a child, I watched Santi on television and idolized him. It’s crazy how things change over time ”, Daniel assures after sharing the Davis Cup team with his idol. In addition, Giraldo is a constant advisor for him and this is how he explains it: “Dani is a little brother to me. I hope I can be a positive leader for him.” quoted the official ATP site.

Galán will face the challenge of his life when he faces a Top 10 for the first time in his career, Novak Djokovic (1st), by Roland Garros third round.

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