Get to know Tomas Martin Etcheverry

 - Reem Abulleil

Last Argentine standing reaches maiden Grand Slam quarter-final

Tomas Martin Etcheverry, huitièmes de finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Before this year, Tomas Martin Etcheverry was 0-4 in Grand Slam main draw matches, and was 4-16 in tour-level clashes.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old Argentine will be contesting his first major quarter-final, against No.22 seed Alexander Zverev, looking to improve his win-loss record for the season to an impressive 19-12.

A 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 triumph over an injured Yoshihito Nishioka on Monday night saw an emotional Etcheverry sink to his knees in celebration of a new milestone reached on the Grand Slam stage.

Here's what you need to know about the rising world No.49.

He's carved an impressive path to the quarters

Etcheverry has been breaking new ground with every step taken this fortnight at Roland-Garros, but you would never have guessed that he is experiencing all of this for the first time.

The La Plata native has yet to drop a set through four matches in Paris, and has knocked out three consecutive seeds along the way: No.18 Alex de Minaur, No.15 Borna Coric, and No.27 Nishioka.

"This is my first time here in the second week. For me just only to play my game. That's my mindset all this week," Etcheverry told reporters on Monday.

"I am lucky that I didn't have a lot of time on the court, so that's helped me a lot because I think Yoshihito played a lot of hours. For me I was good to play this match. Of course, it's my first time in this Grand Slam area, and it's all new for me."

Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Roland-Garros 2023, fourth round©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

He's crushing it on clay this year

Etcheverry has tallied up 22 match-wins on the red dirt in 2023, 17 of which have come at tour level.

He has reached two ATP finals on the surface, in Houston and Santiago, and also made the Bordeaux Challenger final in the build-up to Roland-Garros.

"I know the hard work. I changed my team this year at the start of the year. We work a lot to change a lot of things. Trying to be more aggressive, trying to change some mindset. That's I think the key of this success," he explains.

Tomas Martin Etcheverry, huitièmes de finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

His short-term goal is to break top 20 by year-end

Etcheverry told earlier this week that he hopes to finish the year ranked inside the top 20; he's actually just one victory away from shooting up to the edge of that mark.

His projected ranking if he takes out Zverev in the quarter-finals would be around 22.

Looking ahead to his clash with the German, Etcheverry said: "For me I have a lot of emotion right now. I think I am really, really happy. You know, the best moment of my life.

"Of course, in the next round it's going to be tough. Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him. I am playing incredible tennis this week, and I just have to focus in my game and trying to do the same like I am doing all the day."

Zverev - Etcheverry

He is managed by Juan Monaco

Yes, former world No.8 Juan 'Pico' Monaco is Etcheverry's agent and occasional hitting partner.

He spoke to earlier this tournament about Etcheverry's progress this season.

"I'm so happy for him, he's a guy who for sure deserves this, he keeps working really, really hard since the beginning of the year," said Monaco. "He's had a great clay season, won some big matches against tough players to reach three finals. He's there, he has the level."

He's been coached by Walter Grinovero since August 2022.

His idol is Djokovic

When Etcheverry scored his first ATP point in July 2016, he posted a photo holding a hand-written sheet of paper that compared his ATP points tally to then-No.1 Novak Djokovic, who had a staggering 12,900 points. "Faltan 12,899", he also wrote, meaning, 12,899 points to go.

He has periodically posted similar updates, as he continued to cut down his points deficit to Djokovic by rising up the rankings. Etcheverry and Djokovic played each other in Rome last month (Djokovic won in straights) and the Argentine is considering posting another ranking points update if and when he breaks the top 20.

"Novak is my idol, he's the main reason I went into tennis. When I changed to Head racquets I immediately said I need the racquets of Djokovic. We spoke a little bit after our match in Rome. He's such a nice guy, very easy, a legend," said Etcheverry.