Daniel Dutra da Silva Breaking New Ground at 33 Years Old

Daniel Dutra Da Silva (BRA) vs Timo Stodder (GER) - Poznan Open
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Poznan, Poland–

Daniel Dutra da Silva never reached a single Challenger semifinal before this year, getting stopped at the last eight stage six times. For years, the 33-year-old Brazilian was only a threat on the ITF World Tennis Tour, where he has compiled 24 singles and 26 doubles titles. But in 2022, Dutra da Silva is suddenly having the best season of his career, highlighted by semifinal appearances at Challengers in Santa Cruz and Vicenza. “I think now I enjoy the (matches) more. Like you said, I’m 33, so I have, I don’t know, maybe three or four years, so I try to enjoy it and play free. I think that’s it, I got some great results now.”, said Dutra da Silva, asked about whether he feels like there’s any improvement in his game.

The Brazilian is nearing his career-high ranking of 231, set all the way back in 2009. That was also the year when Dutra da Silva played his only Grand Slam qualifying event, even winning a round at the US Open. “Yes, of course, I work for that. I’m really close right now, so let’s keep going” he said, asked whether the possibility of returning to such a stage is a big goal for him.

Working hard despite a tough background

Dutra da Silva’s brother, Rogerio (now retired), was a much more successful player, getting all the way to World No. 63 in the ATP Rankings. He won the 2017 Brasil Open in doubles and reached the second round at Grand Slam events five times. The two brothers were raised in a poor neighborhood in Brazil. “My father played tennis too, he played professional, my brother as well. For us, it’s really tough when we grow up in a favela. We fight a lot to be here. I’m grateful to play and travel the world. I’m in Poland right now, so very far from my house and I try to enjoy.”

This week at the Poznań Challenger, Dutra da Silva managed to qualify by defeating a couple of Germans, Jeremy Jahn and Timo Stodder. The former was a comfortable win as Jahn is still yet to recover from his most recent set of injuries, which have been plaguing him in his career. Stodder gave him a much tougher test, but the lefty Brazilian did what he does best. He made the match very physical, constructed the rallies well with his forehand, and watched the German collapse in the deciding set. As a reward, he gets to face Renzo Olivo in the opening round of the main draw.

Main Photo Credit: Paweł Rychter/Poznań Open 2022