Cerundolo battled past third seed Miomir Kecmanovic 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday in two hours and 19 minutes to reach the last eight at this ATP 250. The lefty broke the Serbian’s serve six times to earn the biggest win of his career.
“I feel incredibly happy. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s crazy, it’s kind of amazing,” Cerundolo told ATPTour.com. “I’m feeling the moment and I’ll rest now because I have to play tomorrow. I’m very happy, but I’m also focussed on the next match.”
The home favourite had only previously attempted to qualify for an ATP Tour main draw once, last year in Buenos Aires. While Cerundolo was unsuccessful on that occasion, he did not lose a set in three qualifying matches this week in Cordoba. The brother of red-hot ATP Challenger Tour standout Francisco Cerundolo, Juan Manuel has maintained his momentum in the main draw with victories against Thiago Seyboth Wild and Kecmanovic.
The 19-year-old credits his success to confidence he gained during qualifying, but also to a change in racquets he made one month ago.
“It’s helped me to be more powerful,” Cerundolo said. “I have to use less strength to hit the ball. It’s a better thing for me.”
Cerundolo this week became the youngest player from Argentina to win an ATP Tour match since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2007 Rolex Paris Masters. The qualifier will next play a fellow lefty, Brazilian Thiago Monteiro, who eliminated Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 6-4 in 86 minutes earlier in the day.