Filip Krajinovic says he can keep climbing up the rankings following his stunning run at the Paris Masters.
The Serbian qualified for the tournament and reached the final, falling 7-5, 4-6, 1-6 to Jack Sock. Krajinovic seemed to have surprised himself as much as anyone else with his breakthrough showing.
"I hardly slept for five or six days, and I've eaten very little," he told Sportklub. (http://sportklub.rs/Blog/Sasa-Ozmo/a219731-Filip-Krajinovic-za-SK-od-dna-do-vrha-za-sest-meseci.html) "I wanted to sleep... but it was impossible because of the adrenaline."
That kept flowing despite his defeat in the final, with Krajinovic seeing his week as a "turning point" in his career.
"I'm a bit sad, about not winning Paris, but this is just the beginning," he said. "I'm sure I can halve my ranking.
"From so much bad luck and injury, I got a payback at one tournament."
A former top junior, Krajinovic has had shoulder and wrist surgeries that have sidelined him for lengthy stretches. "The toughest moment was my shoulder surgery, I had no [ranking] points and had to begin from scratch," he said, taking from 2011 to 2014 to get back in the Top 100. "Then I had to repair my wrist."
Krajinovic, who considered retiring at times, finished 2016 at No. 234 in the world. "My contracts with Nike, IMG and Wilson were up, and none of them would renew with me," he said. "That was a source of motivation for me."
He traces his resurgence to winning a mid-season challenger, also from qualifying, starting a string of five challenger-level titles this season.
Backing from his family and girlfriend has been important, he said, and he has also received motivation and advice from fellow Serb Novak Djokovic.
"He's even invited me to Monte Carlo to train and be around him," said Krajinovic. "I've used a lot of things on and off court that he's told me."
Having got up to No. 77 before Paris, he is now at No. 33 in the rankings.