James McGee insisted he will come back better and stronger after his bid for a spot at the Australian Open just fell short.
The Irish number one was beaten in two sets by the German Daniel Brands - ranked 151st in the world - in his final qualifying round match in Melbourne, 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.
McGee, from Castleknock, was bidding to get to the first round of the tournament for the first time.
Afterwards he admitted the best man had prevailed, but insisted he is good enough to break the top 100, and predicted he will so so within the next 12 months.
“I think Daniel played a great match today from start to finish," said the 199th-ranked McGee, who had won through two qualifying rounds at the Grand Slam event, beating Calvin Hemery (228) from France and Moldova’s Radu Albot (120).
“This whole experience has made me a better player"
“He’s a big lad, 6’5”, he’s got a huge serve and I feel like that was the main factor in who was going to win the match.
"He just served a little bit better than me and put me under a huge amount of pressure on my own service games.
“It hasn’t done a whole lot to hurt my confidence or belief in myself – it was just one of those matches where he executed things a little better than me and well done to him.
“I really don’t feel like I lost the match – I do have to take my hat off to him and say Daniel played great on the big points. He took his chances when they came up.
“This whole experience has made me a better player and I’m looking forward to moving on.
"I’m 199 in the world at the moment but I already feel like a top 100 player.
"I do feel I’m good enough. I feel like in 12 months’ time we’ll look back on this and I’ll be in the top 100."
McGee made the first round of the US Open in 2014 and stressed the knock-on financial effects of breaking into the Majors would bring him to the next level in every aspect.
“My mind, my body and my game are in a really good place and it’s just a matter of sticking to it, not getting distracted, focusing on the right things and we’ll see where I end up," he said.
“Tennis is an extremely expensive sport. Last year between January and June I spent €75,000; that was just to bring a coach on the road. I got injured in July.
"Had I played the rest of the year I probably would have spent the same amount so you’re looking at €150,000 a year.
"To make that you need to be top 100, you need to be making the Grand Slams. If you lose in the first round of a Grand Slam that’s about $40,000.
"Sponsorship is huge for me. I’m always looking. It’s makes a huge difference."