Arvind Parmar, the British No 5,drew inspiration from Andy Murray's San Jose success and booked his place in the quarter-finals of the ABN Amro tournament in Rotterdam yesterday.
Parmar, ranked 230 in the world and only involved in the Dutch event as a lucky loser after the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, followed up his surprise victory over Paradorn Srichaphan by eliminating the German Dominik Meffert in straight sets yesterday and cited Murray's maiden ATP Tour title as a real boost.
"Andy is an inspiration," Parmar said. "When you see guys like that and Greg [Rusedski] and Tim [Henman] playing well and winning titles, you keep on working hard and putting the hours in and your rewards will come, too."
Parmar was confident that he could maintain his fine run despite facing a stiff challenge in the last eight against either Taylor Dent or Christophe Rochus. "Yeah, why not? I'm playing well. I feel confident so I feel I can carry on the run."
Parmar actually lost to Meffert in the final round of qualifying but is now enjoying his best performance at an ATP Tour event. He won his match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
"I played much better this time - I was also more aggressive," he said. "The pressure was clearly on him, and I seized the opportunities I was given. Reaching the quarter-finals of an important tournament like this is fantastic."
Rusedski was unable to continue the feelgood factor in British tennis as the No 2 lost to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, 6-4, 6-1. Rusedski started well and took a 4-2 lead after a break in the fifth game of the first set. But the 24-year-old Russian swiftly regained control and allowed Rusedski only one more game, pushing him to all corners of the court with his baseline game.
"Normally against Rusedski you aim for one break or win a tie-break but today it was rather easy," Davydenko, the world No 6 and No 2 seed, said. "I saw him beat [Robin] Vik in the first round and he served and played very well, but today he seemed not so concentrated."
After the withdrawal of Roger Federer, Nadal and Ivan Ljubicic, Davydenko is the highest-ranked player in Rotterdam. "Looking at the schedule I know that I can beat everyone on clay but on this surface [hard court] you never know," the Australian Open quarter-finalist said.
* The women's world No 1, Kim Clijsters, will not be able to defend her title at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells next month after aggravating an ankle injury she first suffered at the Australia Open last month. Clijsters, the US Open champion, said: "It would have been nice to have defended my title in Indian Wells as it has always been one of my favourite tournaments." The Belgian hopes to return at the Miami tournament which starts on 22 March.Reuse content