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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Freshman Daniel de la Torre prepares to hit a forehand return. (Photo: Kelly Smiley/The Daily Aztec) Freshman Daniel de la Torre prepares to hit a forehand return. (Photo: Kelly Smiley/The Daily Aztec)

Brothers On and Off the Court

Two brothers on the SDSU men’s tennis team push each other to succeed.
By Andrea Lopez-Villafana, The Daily Aztec

Sibling rivalry is all about competition, and for the de la Torre brothers, it has molded them into the San Diego State University tennis players they are today.

Sophomore Raul de la Torre and freshman Daniel de la Torre began playing tennis at a young age under the coaching of their father, Raul de la Torre Sr., who played tennis for more than 45 years.

The younger Raul said growing up with Daniel was a rewarding experience because their age gap was so small that they had similar interests and wanted to do everything together.

“Since we are brothers, we don’t like losing against each other so I think that has made us even more competitive and better tennis players,” the younger Raul said. “I don’t see it as an obstacle; I see it as something great for us.”

Daniel said he admires his brother because he is hard-working and inspires him to follow in his footsteps but to also write his own story.

“There is a lot of discipline in both of us,” Daniel said. “There are a lot of good things I see in his game so I try to emulate what he does.”

For their father, it was important both of his sons pursued a higher education and attended a university with a Division I tennis program.

“Having them both San Diego State playing Division I tennis is awesome because they are taking care of their education and are doing what they love," Raul Sr. said.

Raul’s father said his younger son developed a strong forehand when he was little because he wanted to beat his older brother.

"Raul would train more because here’s his younger brother trying to catch up and the younger one was playing harder so that he could catch up,” Raul Sr. said. “It’s been very helpful for both of them because this competitiveness has taken them to a higher level.”

The brothers attribute their success not only to their competitive edge, but to their father’s support. Daniel said his father did not have the same education opportunities and sometimes would wake at 5 a.m. to get ready for work.

“He’s definitely proud of where we are and what we have achieved,” the younger Raul said. “I thank my parents for where we are.”

But both brothers agreed their competitiveness follows them off the court.

“Daniel is a hardworking guy,” the younger Raul said. “He might be stubborn, but I think that has helped him get to where he is now. I don’t think I would be myself if I didn’t have my brother.”

This article originally appeared in The Daily Aztec.