Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer, is just one step away from being ranked among the world's top ten players, following his strong performance in Key Biscayne.
The Nasdaq 100 Open tournament in Miami represented a decisive step forward for the twenty-year old, despite losing against the American, Andre Agassi, in the finals on Sunday.
Federer is now seeded 11th in the world, having moved up three places since the start of the tournament.
The young Swiss has also leaped up three places to number three in the Champions Race, which ranks players according to their performances this year and which is decisive for the forthcoming Masters Cup tournament in Shanghai.
Federer lost 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 against the ninth-seeded American.
Agassi, who has won this title for the fifth time, got off on the right foot and took the opening two sets 6-3, 6-3.
After a weak start, Federer settled down in the third set and lost only three points on his serve. When he took a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, it looked as though the match might become a test of stamina on the sweltering court.
However, even though the Swiss player was up a serve break in the fourth set, Agassi broke his serve at 4-4 and broke again on the champion point to win title.
"I have always loved coming here and playing here over the years," Agassi said after the match, which earned him his 700th career victory.
Until Sunday's final match, Federer had neither lost a set nor one single serve in the Nasdaq-100 Open in Florida.
The 20-year-old pulled off one of the greatest wins of his career on Friday by beating world number one Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-finals.
Strong start for Schnyder
Swiss women's number two Patty Schnyder was celebrating success of a more modest kind on Sunday with an opening round victory at the latest WTA tournament in Sarasota.
Schnyder (WTA 34) comfortably saw off America's Lilia Osterloh (WTA 57) in straight sets (6-0, 6-1) to set up a second round meeting with Slovakia's Henrieta Nagyova (WTA 32).
swissinfo with agencies