Melbourne: David Goffin said he felt ready to take on the top players after he wore down Dominic Thiem to become the first Belgian man to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals on Monday.
The 11th-seeded Goffin equalled his best Grand Slam showing by reaching the last eight with a 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-2 win over the eighth-seeded Austrian in two hours 44 minutes.
Goffin's win in the second-set tiebreaker proved crucial as he powered on to victory on Rod Laver Arena, where ambient temperatures were above 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).
"I kept fighting, that was definitely key winning the second-set tiebreaker where I made some good returns," Goffin said.
"I continued to push on in the rallies and I'm really happy to win. Mentally, I'm tired."
Goffin knocked Thiem out in the third round of last year's Australian Open, before losing to the Austrian in the quarters at the French Open.
Goffin won on his second match point when Thiem netted a service return. It was the Belgian's first victory over a top-10 player at a major.
"I'm feeling more confident against the top players. I had a lot of matches before the tournament," Goffin said.
"I knew that I was able to fight and to win some matches against big guys. I knew that I had the level.
"The key was to play my best tennis in the match and not only during practice. But I'm doing more often than in the past.
"That's why I'm more confident and I win some more matches."
The Belgian, who reached the last eight at Roland Garros last year, will next face Bulgarian 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the quarters.
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2017 18:13:47 IST