Ten Days in the Life of Milos
To celebrate, Milos Raonic got to hop on a red-eye flight to Memphis.
Such is the life of a professional tennis player, one in which over the course of slightly more than a week the 21-year-old from Thornhill has competed for his country, suffered an apparently serious knee injury that made him unable to play for his country, found the diagnosis was wrong and instead wouldn't prevent him from defending his ATP title won last year in San Jose, fought his way to the final and then defeated Denis Istomin on Sunday to capture his second tournament of the year.
Then jetted off to Memphis, a competition which he almost won last year, losing in the final to Andy Roddick.
Yep, it's been crazy for the Maple Leaf Missile, who didn't drop serve once in winning a tournament in Chennai, India last month then upped the ante a little more in San Jose, beating Istomin 7-6, 6-2 while losing only four points on serve.
"SCARY," tweeted veteran tennis commentator Patrick McEnroe.
Not only is Raonic on a roll after fearing he might have a serious knee injury last weekend in Vancouver, but he's clearly proving that his rise to as high as No. 25 in the world is no fluke.
In defeating the likes of Jankko Tipsarevic, Julien Benneteau, Ryan Harrison, Kevin Anderson and Istomin already this season, Raonic has made it clear he's a top 25 player when healthy.
So how high can he go?
Well, again, it depends on his health, and his retired in a couple of tour matches over the past 14 months and pulled out of Davis Cup twice, including last Sunday in B.C. when he was slated to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France but didn't after learning an MRI on his left knee had revealed a tear that could be damaged further if he'd played.
Instead, he had it checked out again in San Jose, found the initially diagnosis was faulty, and happily went off and won the tournament.
But if he stays healthy, his spectacular serve - arguably the most lethal in the world right now - should allow him to consistent pick up ATP points and vault up the rankings. Suddenly, top 10 doesn't look impossible.
San Jose was a smaller tournament, and the next big one is next month in Indian Wells, California, followed soon after by the Sony Ericsson event in Miami and then the European clay court season.
He's solidified vulnerable areas of his game, particularly his return of serve, and now his serve seems that much more destructive. Istomin seemed to visibly wilt as it became more and more clear over the course of the San Jose final that not only had he little chance to break Raonic's serve, he could barely get a point.
For Memphis, Raonic is the No. 4 seed behind John Isner, Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek. He opens the competition with a tricky first round match against talented but engimatic Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.