DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Milos Raonic became the favorite at the Delray Beach Open, and he didn't even realize it until after his 6-2, 6-2 win over Denis Istomin.
During his match, No. 1-seeded Nick Kyrgios withdrew from singles with a left wrist injury, making the No. 2-seeded Canadian the top man to beat. As expected, Raonic is unperturbed by what's happening anywhere but right in front of him.
"I have to play my next mach against [Cedrik-Marcel] Stebe and I have to focus on that," the 2017 Delray finalist said. "The rest is beyond thoughts right now."
What was in front of him on Tuesday was a lucky loser, replacing last week's New York Open finalist Andreas Seppi. Again, Raonic was unruffled.
"Both of them I've played before so it wasn't like it was with with somebody I didn't know too well," Raonic said. "I had an idea of how to prepare, so I just really had to focus a lot on myself."
The 29-year-old is thinking only positive thoughts about himself this week, after some mixed results so far in 2020. Sandwiched between two first-round losses was a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals. The former world No. 3 knows what it takes to be at the top, and has proven he has the game (see: eight ATP titles), if only he can stay healthy for a longer stretch of time.
"It's been positive; I've been playing well," he said. "Obviously, I didn't play much over the last six months so it's been a little up and own. Once I get going, I can get into a tournament, and I can get sort of my footing under me. I'm getting better and better, so I'm happy with that."