Kiwi doubles player Marcus Daniel believes he's earned the respect of the locker room after his French Open campaign ended in the third round at Roland Garros overnight.
Daniell and American partner Brian Baker have lost in three sets to the 6th seeds Indian Rohan Bopanna and Romania's Florian Mergea 6-2, 6-7, 6-1.
"It was a very close match" Daniell said after the 1hr47minute battle.
"We got out to a very slow start to be honest and those guys were on fire in the first set.
We managed to hold strong in the second set and played a really good tie breaker and had our chance at the start of the third."
After winning the second set tie breaker 7 points to 4, Daniell and Baker had break points on Mergea's serve at 15-40.
"We felt like we had the momentum and played some good points and got unlucky not to break. That eased the pressure on them and on my next service game we had a bunch of deuces before they hit the outside of the line to break us. Going from having the momentum and having break point chances early in the third it slipped out of our grasp and they ran away with it."
Despite the defeat Daniell takes plenty of positives out of his second appearance at the French Open.
"For me we played two very good matches in the first and second rounds and today both Brian and I felt we could have played a lot better. But the big positive to take from that is we didn't play our best tennis and were one all in the third set with break points against one of the best teams in the world."
12 months ago the 26 year old from Masterton made his Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros. A year later he feels he has earned the respect of his peers.
"This time last year was the first time I had played a slam and I was definitely star struck walking out on court for the first time. This year in the first two rounds we put away two dangerous teams with conviction and I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did then. I feel I am getting more respect around the locker room and having that extra respect it makes it easier to win matches because the guys are not ashamed to lose to you."
Daniell who takes home 30 thousand dollars for his efforts in Paris, now turns his attention to the grass court season, his favourite surface.
"I am considering playing a challenger next week in Manchester to get some matches in before heading to the ATP tournament in Stuttgart." Daniell said.
Daniell's regular partner Artem Sitak is playing at a Challenger tournament in the Czech Republic next week, because he wasn't sure when Daniell would be finished in Paris and had to make a decision.
Stuttgart is the final week where ranking points will count towards Wimbledon entry and while Daniell and Sitak would like to play together at the All England Club, their combined ranking may not be high enough.
"It's going to be tight because at Wimbledon there are 53 direct acceptances rather than 57 like the French Open. Brian Baker is a possibility if I can't get in with Artem, and if it comes down to a decision of definitely being in the main draw without all the stress which comes with being unsure of that, we both have good partners we can play with and the better we both do individually, the better it is for us as a team."
Matt Brown is at the French Open thanks to Emirates Airline