New York: He's North America's top player but sadly for the success-starved United States, Milos Raonic is Canadian and wouldn't have it any other way.
The 22-year-old Raonic stands at 11 in the world and is seeded 10 at the US Open where on Saturday he reached the fourth round for a second successive year.
In contrast, John Isner is America's highest-ranked player at 17 in the world and carrying the burden of attempting to win his country's first Grand Slam men's singles title since Andy Roddick in New York in 2003.
"Sort of the relief is definitely there that obviously there's a lot more pressure on Americans. I'm sort of doing a lot of stuff into unchartered territories so people are very supportive of it," said Raonic.
"I feel it's a little bit unfair to the American players. Everybody is expecting Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi to be there on the top. Just everybody is always asking why isn't their player doing this, this, this, as an American. I think that's the one big difference."
Isner can sympathize with that belief.
The big American is already feeling the strain of national expectations to improve on his run to the US Open quarter-finals in 2011.
The 28-year-old seemed at breaking point in his five-set win over Gael Monfils in the second round when he accused the New York crowd of preferring to support his French opponent rather than get behind their own player.
Raonic, who was born in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, but moved with his family to Canada when he was three, is happy not to be trapped in that claustrophobic bubble.
"I think the attention is the same. But one is a little bit more negative because they are expecting a lot more; whereas in Canada it's a lot more positive to be in the situation where I am right now."
That's not to say that Raonic, who made the US Open fourth round on Saturday with a four-set win over experienced Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, isn't free of homeground pressurs when he plays in Canada.
At the Montreal Masters in the build-up to the US Open, Ranoic was accused of bad sportsmanship when he touched the net as he hit a winner in his victory over Juan Martin Del Potro.
The Argentine believed Raonic should have called the foul on himself as the umpire didn't see the infringement, but the Canadian carried on to victory, roared on by the home crowd.
"I would have dealt with it differently," admitted Raonic.
"It was my first time in that situation. I spoke with Juan's team and I apologized, and I apologized to him directly, as well."