Johannesburg - South African tennis player Kevin Anderson's coach Louis Vosloo believes the No 1-ranked South African has the talent to feature among the world's top 20.
Vosloo was speaking after Anderson's narrow 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 2-6 quarter-final defeat in the Stockholm Open to Argentine Juan-Martin Del Potro - the eventual winner of the tournament.
The SA player retained his 39th position, after the world rankings were released on Monday by the ATP, but Vosloo said Anderson was close to a top 20 place.
"Yes, the loss against Del Potro was very difficult to stomach," said Vosloo, a former South African Davis Cup player.
"I really thought we were going to pull this one off and break the shackles, but unfortunately Kevin came just short after he had Del Potro in real trouble for two-thirds of the match.
"But again, there were many positives from the outcome. This was a Del Potro in top form and having a great indoor run."
Vosloo said Anderson had shown his mettle this year by coming within a whisker of beating Thomas Berdych, John Isner and now Del Potro when they were all ranked among the top 10 players in the world.
"Kevin oh so nearly pulled it off against one of the game's premier players, who is among the top five indoor players in the world," Vosloo said.
Del Potro went on to thrash talented Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals, and then edged Roger Federer in Sunday's final.
"Kevin's level in the first two sets against Del Potro was of a very high standard and no quarter was given or asked," Vosloo explained.
"While Kevin took Del Potro to three sets in their previous match as well, the Argentinian ace seemed to have an extra gear at his disposal to take control.
"Kevin earned his respect. Just like Berdych did earlier this year in the French Open five-setter. He is still acclimatising to being one of the top players. Some people need time."
Vosloo was confident Anderson could still hit his best form as he had only been on the main tennis circuit for three years without a break.
"He will start winning many of these close encounters and be ranked among the top 20 in the world," said Vosloo.
"When Kevin gets confident and fully believes in himself, there is no reason he cannot win these tough matches and fulfil his dreams. It's only a matter of time, I believe, with very exciting times ahead for him."
Anderson on Monday started his Paris Masters campaign on a high note after routing Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 6-2,6-1 in the French capital.