Melbourne, 16 May 2011 |

World No.2 female wheelchair tennis player, Dani di Toro of Thornbury, Victoria, is Europe bound next week to compete at the French Open in Paris.

To warm up for her French Open assault, which kicks off on 1 June, di Toro will play at the Japan Open in Fukuoka (17 May-22 May) and the Korean Open in Seoul (24-28 May).

“This will be my second French Open campaign, I played there last in 2010,” said di Toro, who reached the semifinals that year before going down 0-6 1-6 to World No.1 Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands. “To qualify for the French Open, wheelchair players have to be top eight in the world,” she added.

The 37-year-old has had a solid start to the year, with a runners-up trophy at the Australian Open, finishing behind Vergeer. The Dutch woman has won a remarkable 624 career singles titles.

“Esther forces me to be a better tennis player, she is my incentive” di Toro said. “After the Australian Open this year I went back to the drawing board to look at my gameplan and what else I should include … How I approach an Esther match is still a work in progress.”

To be at the peak of her game, di Toro has been training intensively under the instruction of her long-term coach, Greg Crump.

“I’ve known Greg since I was 13 years old, so as well as being my coach he’s one of my oldest friends,” di Toro said. “We’ve come a long way together, and we have our training habits, so that’s why at times we team up with others. At the moment we’ve been doing some strength and conditioning work with Anthony Bonaccurso.”

Leading into the second Grand Slam for the year, the world No.2 believes this is the best prepared she has been.

“It has just been a really nice lead-up, which has been progressive and hopefully enough,” di Toro said. “For the last 10 weeks I have been getting into a really nice training block … which I just haven’t had the time to do before because I’ve also been working and studying full-time.”

When this talented right-hander is not hitting competitive balls, she enjoys gardening, going out to live gigs or taking in some theatre.

“The greatest meditative process for me is weeding my garden, I love it,” revealed di Toro, who has won 256 career singles titles, and is hungry to add the Japan, Korean and French Opens to her list of accolades, as well as a London 2012 Paralympics medal.