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August 30, 2014

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/V. Estrella Burgos
7-6, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was a pretty tricky match and a close one. How did you feel out there?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it was difficult. He's playing well. He's playing with a lot of aspiration. It was a lot of fun, the atmosphere, out there. I'm glad that I was able to play well in the important moments.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I had a bit of an understanding what to expect. I played him about four years ago now, so I knew him a little bit. But I just -- all I really gathered upon information was pretty much the last eight months. I didn't know what happened in a big period in between.

Q. I think you'll admit you were not at your best today. Are you pleased to get through playing that way, and are you confident you can up it for the next round?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah to both of those questions. It's good to get the win. It's good to put myself in this position in the fourth round to go further in this tournament and give myself an opportunity to play better. Yeah, I believe I can play better. I believe I will.

Q. You have had a really successful year in terms of playing tiebreakers. Can you tell us why you seem to do so well in tiebreakers?
MILOS RAONIC: Just an understanding that it is a coin toss in a lot of ways. It can go both ways, but with my serve and ability to finish points quickly and the kind of pressure that puts on my opponents, I can maybe shift odds in my favor. When things aren't necessarily going well throughout the set, I feel like, okay, focus on make sure this goes all the way through. Take care of your serve and give yourself a shot in the breaker.

Q. You have obviously worked with a lot of different coaches over your career. I'm curious to know what the benefits have been working with a very recently retired player, and also somebody who shares your culture of origin if not your current culture.
MILOS RAONIC: No, it's great. He's been great in a lot of ways, Ivan. He understands me in a lot of situations. I don't think necessarily he always, let's say, he understands that because of culture. Maybe that helps, but I think we spend time together and he's been very adaptive in that kind of sense. They just help me understand what I need to do and how to sort of get a certain level out of myself and how to sort of value different things on and off the court.

Q. Speaking in English with the three of you together?

Q. This guy has been a great story here. There is a lot of buzz about him and a lot of Dominicans came out. All of this has to be pretty tough to handle for a guy that goes in as such a heavy favorite. Did that make you play within yourself a little bit? Were you conscious you need to manage the situation and not let the crowd get into it or anything like that?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I have played a few situations in Davis Cup. I just sort of focused on the right things. I don't think necessarily that was too much of a factor. I just tried to focus on, okay, what do I have to do and how do I need to adjust throughout the match to what he's doing. Just try to keep things simple and not get caught up in things I can't control.

Q. Your sleeve sort of continues to take on a life of its own. You had a new design today. I'm just curious about the choice to wear it out on court and sort of why you continue to do so.
MILOS RAONIC: The sleeve or the design aspect of it?

Q. Both.
MILOS RAONIC: The sleeve started in Miami. I actually needed it at that point. Then it stuck around. It's stuck around. My team would say it helps me. I haven't found a reason to argue that so far, so it stuck around.

Q. Do you think it helps you, too?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm not gonna argue when things are going okay (smiling).

Q. Nishikori. What about the match at Wimbledon? Can you take anything from that, or is it a totally different situation on a hard court?
MILOS RAONIC: There is stuff to take from it, but at the same time it's quite different. I have got to focus on myself. I've got to clean up a few things. I've got to put out a certain level if I want to have opportunities, create opportunities. And then hopefully when those opportunities do arise, I can make the most of them. I just gotta clean up a few aspects.

Q. Was there any kind of an aspect you particularly enjoyed today? Some of the rallies were fun. Can you enjoy that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, you can. It was a lot of fun, the atmosphere aspect of it. It's nice when you get into that sort of feeling and have that energy coming from outside of the court. Doesn't matter really which way. It just makes it that much more exciting. That's two years now in a row with the atmosphere today and the atmosphere last year when I played Richard. It's a great atmosphere here, and I really enjoyed being a part of it.

Q. Patrick McEnroe seems very fascinated with the fact that your hair always stays in place, whether it's windy or not, when you're playing. Can you tell us the secret of how you're doing that?
MILOS RAONIC: It's not really a secret (smiling). I don't got really too different hair of most people. Just the right product (smiling).

Q. Maybe you'll get a deal, endorsement deal. Do you want to tell us what you're using?
MILOS RAONIC: Maybe I will, but I'm not necessarily chasing one at the moment (laughter). I'll just let the hair speak for itself. It's got a Twitter account, so it actually does more speaking than I probably do on Twitter.

Q. About Nishikori, when was the last time you met him as a player? Can you talk about the strong part of his game?
MILOS RAONIC: Probably Eddie Herr because he grew up training at IMG. So probably Eddie Herr at the age of 14, maybe 16. Kei's I think biggest strength comes really in his movement. He's able to take the ball early because of it. But also, at the same time he's able to defend well because of how well he moves and how well he can get himself in position. Sort of have to find your way around that.

Q. During the second set tiebreak you caught a very unlucky ball boy in a very insensitive spot with 143-mile-an-hour serve. Did you notice if you did that, or did you say anything to him afterwards?
MILOS RAONIC: I didn't know I hit him in a very sensitive spot because the guy stood up pretty well. I'm not sure if I could if something hit me there at 143 miles an hour. I didn't really have a chance because when I came over to that side it was the middle of a tiebreak. It's really hard to sort of get out of that sort of fixture. I didn't have a fixed image in my head of which ball boy was necessarily there.

Q. You had some very kind words for him at the end. Can you just talk a bit about what you admire about this guy.
MILOS RAONIC: Well, it's great to see at 34 years old, I believe, he's playing his best tennis. He's figuring a lot of it out. He's giving himself sort of a new life about his tennis, because I know -- I saw him many times, especially going through the States. When I was playing through the challenger circuit you'd see him playing quallies or getting in as one of the last guys in the main draw. So you see him at that point. Now to see him getting into Grand Slams, directly into quite a few tournaments, as well, it's nice to see. I remember his first match. I believe I was practicing or warming up for my first round against Daniel. You could hear a great atmosphere in the back because he was practicing behind, playing behind those P courts. You could see he was enjoying that aspect of it. And not just everything he was doing, but everything that came in around it. You could see it was emotional for him after the match, as well. It's great for him to have this kind of a moment and to really enjoy it. He's really taking it in.

Q. Have you had a chance to ride the subway this week in New York? How aware are you that there are whole cars plastered with your image and your shoes?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I have heard about it. I have seen it on Twitter. Last time I rode a subway in New York I actually got hurt, so I avoid them.

Q. What happened?
MILOS RAONIC: The turnstile hit me really hard in the knee and I was limping for a little while.
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