Sock Takes Delray Beach Title As Raonic Withdraws
American receives walkover in Sunday's final
The American won his third ATP World Tour singles title when top seed Milos Raonic withdrew before taking the court for their final due to a hamstring tear in his right leg. The unfortunate end to the tournament gives Sock his second ATP World Tour crown of 2017, having prevailed last month at the ASB Classic (d. Sousa). Sock didn’t drop a set in claiming victory this week. He improves to 11-1 this season and is projected to move to a career-high No. 18 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.
“It’s very unfortunate for him and I hope he has a speedy recovery. We’ve had a lot of good battles and I was looking forward to the challenge,” said Sock. “I’d be a little more excited and full of energy if I had gone out and won it on court, but on the flip side, a title is a title.”
Sock said that Raonic notified him personally about the withdrawal right before Sock was set to warm up for their match. The American admitted being surprised about the walkover win after watching Raonic defeat Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday, but Sock said he understood the importance of putting health first.
“You’ve got to look ahead with some big tournaments coming up,” said Sock. “If you try to play with something that’s tweaked or a little hurt, it can only get worse. I can speak from surgery that I had a few years ago with my pelvis. I played on it for five extra weeks and tore it completely.”
The American said that while he's pleased to be producing some of the best tennis of his career, he still has an eye on cracking the Top 10 and beyond.
“I’m playing these tournaments every week to try and win. Tennis-wise, physically and mentally, I think I’m ready to make that jump and my tennis is speaking for itself,” said Sock. “I need to just keep doing all of the right things to keep moving forward.”
Raonic said he first felt a sharp pain early in the second set of his match against del Potro while chasing down a drop shot. Although he expected to play Sunday’s final, his injury got worse overnight.
“I thought it might just be wear and tear, but I woke up this morning not really able to walk,” said Raonic. “We did about two hours of therapy this morning trying to calm it down and saw it wasn’t making much progress, so we came to the conclusion it was a slight hamstring tear."
The Canadian was especially frustrated to withdraw as it was his first ATP World Tour final of the season. He has struggled with injuries throughout 2017, injuring separate parts of his adductor during the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the Australian Open.
“It’s disappointing in a lot of ways,” said Raonic. “I’ve been unfortunate with injuries and have been doing everything I can to prevent them. It’s been three tournaments in a row where I’ve sustained some sort of muscle damage. And it’s disappointing for the sole fact that you’re one match away from a title. It’s not easy to accept."
Sock is scheduled to compete next week at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.