Tennis Prose



Biofile: Danielle Lao Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: WTA rank 236. Has qualified for the US Open main draw for the second year in a row. Last year she lost in the 1R with match point.

Ht: 5-3 Wt: 114

DOB: May 28, 1991 In: Pasadena, CA

First Tennis Memory: I remember in Mexico, hitting on synthetic grass when I was seven. And I remember whiffing on my first ball. Did not make contact at all [smiles]. My first memory.

Tennis Inspirations:  Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf.

Current Car:  A Hyundai Sonata (white).

Last Book Read:  I’m currently reading Grit by Angela Duckworth.

First Pro Tennis Player You Met Or Encountered:  I think Michael Chang. At UCLA, there used to be the Mercedes Benz Cup. (Autograph and picture?) Yes.

Greatest Career Moment:  Winning the last round of qualies here to make the main draw two years in a row. The intensity was so high, I just exploded. To be in the main draw of the US Open…two or three years ago I was too timid to ever dream about something like that.

Most Painful Moment:  Losing in the first round main draw last year. I had match point (vs Risa Ozaki).

Funny Tennis Memory:  I laugh at it now but it wasn’t funny at the moment. When I caught my coach sleeping at my doubles match [smiles]. (Where?) I think we were in Korea, last year. And he denied it. But I know what you look like when you’re sleeping [smiles].

Favorite Sport Outside Tennis: I’d say golf.

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow:  Hmmm…Kobe Bryant. Roger Federer. And…I’d have to say Russell Wilson.

Why Do You Love Playing Tennis:  There’s always a creative way to get better [smiles].

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  That’s a tough one…I’m gonna say cookies and cream off the top of my head.

Best You Ever Felt On Court:  Last round of qualis here.

Nickname: The Little Giant.

Embarrassing Tennis Memory:  Blowing match points is quite embarrassing.

Closest Friends In Tennis: I’d have to say my teammates at USC and Jacqueline Cako, Asheley Weinhold and Kerry Wong. We’re all really good friends.

People Qualities Most Admired: Honesty. Loyalty. Humor.


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