Coach Kevin Konfederak revealed practicing with Jannik Sinner helped Francisco Cerundolo realize he had the level to beat the top players. Cerundolo, ranked at No. 103 in the world, put the best week of his career in Miami as he claimed a couple of upset wins.
Cerundolo started his Miami campaign with an upset win over Tallon Griekspoor and he was up by a set and a break against Reilly Opelka before the American retired their second round match. In the third round, Cerundolo stunned Gael Monfils and then he surprised Frances Tiafoe to reach the quarterfinal.
In the quarterfinal, Cerundolo was 4-1 up in the first set before Sinner was forced to retire due to blisters. "In the last ten days, we trained three times with Jannik Sinner, and he realized that he had the level to face these guys and beat them .
I think it was a key for his confidence, for his game, and it allows him to be at this level. He enters the court believing in it," Konfederak told L'Equipe, as revealed on We Love Tennis.
Cerundolo destroyed Monfils
Cerundolo entered his third round meeting against Monfils as the huge underdog but delivered a stunning performance to stun the Frenchman 6-2 6-3.
Cerundolo labeled it as the biggest victory of his career. "It's the victory of my life. I've never hit my forehand that much and I'm happy to have done it that way against such a tough opponent. Today showed that I have the tennis necessary to win these matches.
I played poorly in the previous weeks, but I've been feeling well from the moment I started practicing here. This victory means a lot because on the South American clay court tour I was very close to beating Schwartzman twice, but I didn't know how to stay calm in the decisive moments and I ended up making mistakes when he was returning the balls.
I think those meetings have helped learn how to handle those situations better," Cerundolo said after beating Monfils. Cerundolo's Miami campaign came to an end following a straight-set semifinal defeat to Casper Ruud.