Washington DC, United States, 2 August 2013 | AFP

Australia’s Marinko Matosevic has credited new coach Mark Woodforde with salvaging his US hardcourt season after scoring arguably the biggest win of his career to reach the ATP Citi Open quarterfinals.

A week before his 28th birthday, Matosevic downed 13th-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic 7-5 7-6(7), following earlier good wins over fading big names James Blake and Nikolay Davydenko, to set up a clash with Russian Dmitry Tursunov.

“It was a big win in a big week,” Matosevic said. “My coach, Mark Woodforde, developed a pretty good game plan.”

Despite only working with Woodforde for three weeks, Matosevic said working with him had revived his spirits when he was considering packing in the entire North American campaign, including the US Open.

“It saved me in a lot of ways,” Matosevic said.

Matosevic said an off-court personal problem, the details of which he would not discuss, had been derailing his season.

He had not won consecutive matches since May after rising to a career-high 39th in the rankings in February when he made a last-eight run at Memphis. He has fallen to 83rd this week.

“Just off-court personal stuff. It’s finished but it’s still tough,” Matosevic said. “People don’t realise that outside the sport, we’re human.”

Matosevic said that after food poisoning forced him to retire in his first match last month at Newport, that he pondered going home and forgetting the US Open and the events leading into it.

“That was the height of the personal stuff,” he said. “I thought about pulling out of the rest of the hardcourt season and going home.”

So what made him stay and what has made him play so well this week after months of misery?

“It’s a good question,” Matosevic said. “Tennis is what I love doing. It’s my job. I’m just trying to focus on that.”

It did not hurt that after trying without success for the past 18 months to link up with Woodforde as his coach, he finally had the chance to work with the Aussie icon.

“I guess he saved me from going home.”

Raonic praised Matosevic but said he must become more consistent to improve.

“Marinko is a capable player. He has had three good wins this week,” Raonic said.

“But it’s about doing it every week. If he does put it together he can do very well.”