EYE ace Diego Elias has admitted that Wednesday's Hong Kong Open second round encounter with India's Saurav Ghosal could provide the key to a first ever PSA World Tour top-10 ranking.
Diego, who will take to the court in his edgy new signature Eye S-Line carbon black squash shoes, is sitting at no 12 in the PSA rankings just one spot below his Indian opponent with Ghosal holding a 2-1 head-to-head advantage.
But the last time the duo trod the boards in the 2017 Qatar Classic it was the Peruvian Puma who mauled The Mongoose in a decisive 3-0 victory.
Now with just two tournaments left before the Christmas break the Eye star is determined to build on his recent red-hot form which included a 3-1 defeat of world number one Mohamed ElShorbagy in Doha en route to a first ever PSA Platinum Series semi-final.
Diego said: "Wednesday's game is massive for me as Saurav is sitting one place above me at number 11 in the rankings and if I want to make the top-10 before the year is over I need to go deep both in Hong Kong this week and then in the Black Ball Open in Egypt next month.
"Obviously I am going into this match with confidence high after beating Mohamed (ElShorbagy) and making my first ever Platinum Tour semi-final. But I know how tough it will be to beat Saurav, he is a great mover and a very determined opponent but for me this is a match I have to win if I am to close the gap on him in the rankings and look to break the top-10."
Still only 21 years-old the combination of Diego's languid grace and athleticism on court with his front court dexterity has many tipping the Lima born ace for the very top and a snap shot of such an outcome was evident in the way he bested ElShorbagy, 'The Beast', in Qatar.
But Diego has no doubt that he must add consistency to his game and his early arrival in Hong Kong late last week along with close buddy and Eye Rackets stablemate Paul Coll has only underlined his determination to build on his hugely impressive performance in Qatar.
Diego said: "It is all about consistency for me now and being able to back up my run in Qatar with another strong performance in HK. There is no point in beating someone like ElShorbagy in one tournament and then crashing early in the next championship.
"So that makes the Hong Kong Open a very important tournament for me and with Saurav (Ghoshal) my first opponent I must make sure that everything is exactly right for him. Attitude, focus, determination, they will all be important on Wednesday when we take to the court."
But there is no doubt that Diego's delay and disguise will also be key weapons as he looks to take the running out of The Mongoose's elastic legs
"When your opponent is a great mover, really fast and full of running then it is important to break up his rhythm, keep him guessing, also off balance and use your deception a bit like I did with ElShorbagy. So it will be up to me to produce my best squash as nothing else will do against an opponent as committed as Ghosal."
Exclusive by RJ Mitchell