Six things to know about Daniel Altmaier

Sinner's conqueror is no stranger to posting upsets at Roland-Garros

Daniel Altmaier / 2e tour Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT
 - Simon Cambers

There seems to be something about Roland-Garros that brings the best out of Daniel Altmaier.

After making the fourth round as a qualifier in 2020, the German beat No.8 seed Jannik Sinner in the second round this year and on Saturday, he plays the No.28 seed Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the last 16.

Here are six things you need to know about the 24-year-old German...

His mum’s Ukrainian, his dad’s Russian

Altmaier’s mother, Galina, is Russian, and his father, Jurij, is Ukrainian. Not surprisingly, he speaks Russian, German and English and no doubt is fast-improving his Spanish too, given that he trains in Argentina.

He likes fishing

Not only does fishing give Altmaier some time with his father, it also offers him some down-time and an opportunity to plot his way through a day. He says he likes fishing because of the strategy it entails and he admitted it, tongue in cheek, that it might have helped him “reel in” Sinner in his five-set win on Thursday.

“A week before coming here I was fishing with my dad to calm down a little bit,” he said. “So I think, yeah, in the fifth set maybe the experience of fishing a little bit helped me.”

He’s coached by Alberto Mancini

Altmaier moved his coaching base from Germany to Argentina and says the Argentinian mentality suits him. He’s coached by Alberto Mancini, the former world No.8 and a man who knew his way around a clay court, winning in Monte-Carlo and Rome in 1989 and reaching the quarter-finals here the same year.

His favourite players growing up were Federer and Wawrinka

Altmaier has a fine one-handed backhand, which is perhaps not surprising given that his favourite players growing up were Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, two of the finest exponents of the single-hander.

Jannik Sinner, Daniel Altmaier, 2e tour, Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT

He now feels settled on the Tour

Even though he broke through at Roland-Garros in 2020 -- claiming his first top-10 win over Matteo Berrettini en route to the last 16 -- Altmaier only considers himself to have really been on tour for a couple of years, having battled it out on the Challenger circuit for much of the time before then.

“I think that the process has been, yeah, I was new at the tour; now I am since two years already on the tour. I'm probably not having the greatest results, but everybody has his own progress, and here I am right now,” he says.

He’s at his best on clay

Having grown up near Dusseldorf, Altmaier played on clay in the summers and indoors in the winters when he was young. He says clay’s his favourite surface and it allows him to play his natural game. Six of his seven Challenger Tour titles were won on clay, while he reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final this year, in Madrid.