Sixth seed Miomir Kecmanovic made his New York Open debut a success, defeating Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-2 in the first round on Long Island.
Kecmanovic "familiar" with Paul, tried to play "solid"
Kecmanovic began his post-match press conference by saying "I just wanted to be solid from the back, you know, make him play a lot, not rushed too much cause the courts are very slow. So I just tried to play smart and build the point up and you know, it paid off."
Paul was not an unfamiliar opponent for the Serb. "The good thing is I've known him for a while", he said. "We both played in juniors and we kind of went up the ranks together and I've seen him play a ton. We practiced a few times ao I kind of knew what to expect.
"Right away at the start you kind of get a feel for it you know for the match and everything and from there you go on."
Experience gained from recent success being applied by Serb
Reaching his first career final in Antalya last year coupled with semifinal berths in Milan in 2019 as well as Doha to start the 2020, Kecmanovic is rapidly gaining valuable confidence and experience.
"It definitely helps. It gives you a great deal of confidence, you know you can go into your matches that you know you can play at that level, that you can compete at that level and you know that you belong there. It's definitely a question of time.
"When you've been through so much, you know, you accumulate all of that and I think at some point it just has to show."
The sixth seed stated that the biggest improvement in his game is "just being consistent. I think that's my biggest strength that i'm always not crazy. I'm not going crazy up and down and I think it's just a little more up and down, but I think for the most part of the year, I keep a straight line.
"It's working really well for me and I was able to play at the same level throughout the whole year without any injuries so hopefully I can keep it up."
Sixth seed pinpoints specific areas of improvements
Describing how his game has developed, Kecmanovic said "I guess maybe mentally you know you believe more cause anything in Indian Wells was new for me. I was the new guy. I didn't know anything. I'd never played on that big of a stage and I think now you know everything that happens.
"I think it's just a different mindset. Going to matches you believe you think you can win more and you try to beat everybody. I mean you always try to beat everybody but now you kind of believe and now you have that mindset, you know you're going in as maybe sometimes the favorite."
As for what he wants to achieve next, the Serb remarked "I mean, I always try to finish the year without any injuries. I'm trying to fix the footwork and my mental and you try to strengthen that too.
"There's always some stuff you can work on but I think that is the two main things I want to focus on and hopefully it can take me to where I want to be."
Kecmanovic targets top 30 ranking, talks about Lorenzi
Currently ranked 54th, Kecmanovic has a target ranking in mind for 2020: "Last year I finished in the top 50. The goal for this year is the top 30. If I could finish there that would be awesome for me and this year take it step-by-step.
"I don't want to set crazy goals and be disappointed at the end of the year. I think it's better to go step-by-step and if you achieve it, then it's perfect."
On his second round opponent Paolo Lorenzi, the sixth seed said "I played a five-hour match against him at the U.S. Open. It wasn't that great that I lost but you know, this time hopefully I can do better."