The Serb reached the round of 16 at a Masters 1000 for the first time on Monday at Indian Wells.

A hard block of training in Tenerife, Spain with Dominic Thiem, Jan-Lennard Struff and Ernests Gulbis is paying big dividends for Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic.

The 19-year-old is into his first Masters 1000 round of 16 as a lucky loser after defeating Laslo Djere 6-2 7-6(3) on Monday at Indian Wells. The current World No.130 says it was an eye-opening experience.

“A lot more intense,” he said of the experience, compared to his normal off-season training block. “I obviously did off-season training before but not at that level. I didn’t know that’s what they were going for. That definitely opened my eyes to see how much more I have to work to get where I want to be.”

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Asked if it was a matter of more hours, Kecmanovic said working smart was more important than working hard—though we’re pretty sure they did both.

“Maybe not as much timewise but just the intensity and the stuff they do it’s just at a different level,” he said.

It’s been a great week for Kecmanovic, and he’s closing in on a spot in the Top 100. He’ll get there if he can defeat Yoshihito Nishioka in the round of 16 on Wednesday.

The Serb, who will turn 20 on August 31st, says he’s focused on finishing the season inside the Top 100 and he isn’t concerned with Making the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. If he makes it, great, he says, but he doesn’t want the pressure, he just wants to improve.

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Kecmanovic is the ATP’s third highest-ranked teenager, but he says he’s been overlooked and that fact has served as a motivating force since he’s young.

“Honestly I’m used to it,” he told Tennis Now today. “I’ve been overlooked my entire life. I have been overlooked my entire life, I think in the back of my mind it drives me to prove everybody wrong. So, I don’t mind it honestly. I like it because it kind of gives me the extra motivation maybe some days that I don’t feel like practicing or something.”