Greg Rusedski believes Dan Evans could break into the world's top 50 in the future after his dream run in the US Open came to an end with defeat to Tommy Robredo in the third round.
The 23-year-old lost 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 4-6 7-5 in three hours and 13 minutes to the Spaniard at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Victory for Evans, who had reached the third round with three wins in qualifying and triumphs over Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic in the tournament proper, would have set up a clash with Roger Federer in the fourth round.
And Rusedski is confident the British No2 - who has previously been criticised for not showing sufficient commitment to his tennis - has made a crucial breakthrough in this year's tournament and can go on to improve his current world ranking of 179 significantly.
"What an effort from Robredo but we have to give credit to Dan Evans," he told Sky Sports. "What a performance from him and what a last few weeks for him. He should be very proud of himself.
He just lost his focus a little bit on the big points. But with time he will understand those situations a little bit better.
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"He has really shown us the standard he can play to and if he continues at this rate there is no reason that he can't be in the top 100 and even top 50 one day if he continues at this rate."
Evans went two sets down to Robredo but battled back in the third set and had two set points in the fourth only for Robredo to eventually come through in three hours and 13 minutes.
And Rusedski is confident the Brit will learn a huge amount from this year's tournament and return a better player.
"There was just a little bit of a lack of experience at this level from Dan Evans," he said. "That was a little costly. He just lost his focus a little bit on the big points. But with time he will understand those situations a little bit better.
"From Robredo's point of view: what a fight, what a performance. He found a way to get it done. He was just a little bit better in every category."
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