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January 10, 2015

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/K. Nishikori
6‑7, 7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Very close with him overall; 7‑6 in the third.テつ Last couple games you kind of jumped on it him and snagged it.テつ Just talk about it.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I felt like we both played really well.テつ The level of tennis was very high, especially the beginning‑‑ starting the year off.
I felt I served really well.テつ That's held me around, especially in the beginning, because I felt he was getting more and more on top of me at the beginning from the baseline.
That sort of kept me in it and sort of gave me a chance, and then I was able to create some opportunities in the beginning of the second.
After that, it was pretty much straightforward holding from both of us.テつ I felt like with my serve I put a lot of pressure on opponents in tiebreaks, and I was able to use that.

Q.テつ Did you expect to play so good so early in the season?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I'm happy with how things are going.テつ I can't say I expected it.テつ Doesn't matter what match of the year, I always expect that it's going to be‑‑ I won't play my best and I want to try to find solutions.
So I'm happy with the way I'm playing.テつ I know I put in a lot of good work this off‑season, and it's paying off.

Q.テつ What about physically how did you feel?テつ It was a long game with a lot of points and a lot of rallies.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, but it wasn't really that bad physically.テつ I felt like when he was serving he was taking the ball really early, so he was actually finishing the points off quickly as a well, and so I was I.
So it's not like we had too many really long rallies.テつ Few here and there.テつ Points were pretty quick and minimal shots.

Q.テつ Your coach, Riccardo, told me your off‑season was the most impressive off‑season he has ever seen.テつ Can you explain what you did?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, we didn't have that much time because of when I finished the year, which was a good thing because I made the finals in London.
For about four weeks I focused a lot on fitness.テつ Made sure that I took vital steps forward there.テつ We also put lot of focus on sort of constructing the points early in the points.テつ I was able to do a lot of good things.テつ Even when I was tired I felt like I was much better mentally.
I wasn't getting tired through training.テつ I was always able to push myself.テつ We sort of managed everything, every training so I could as close to 100% so I could always push myself as much as possible and that I wasn't sort of burning myself out by the end of each week.

Q.テつ Talk about potentially playing Roger.テつ You've played him enough now.テつ You finally got him in Paris a couple months ago, but he's been tough overall.テつ How do you beat him?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I got to serve well.テつ That's always been a key.テつ Last few matches I started poorly.テつ I would get broken right in my first service game, which is not the way to really go about things, especially against a top player and especially against Roger.
So I got to keep that pressure on him and then sort of step up when I can create my opportunities.テつ I think that's a good place to start.

Q.テつ Nishikori pointed out couple of reason why he couldn't win today based on the first set experience.テつ He said he tended to wait for you to make some errors.テつ Did you feel something like that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, not really, because I felt like‑‑ I feel like in the different situations he was going for his shots; he was taking the ball very early.
But then also there would be other situations where I think it's just a natural pressure thing because you don't want to play too close to the lines, especially because I can sort of serve well and get a few free points on your own serve.
I imagine, and I know it's like that when ‑‑ so you feel that pressure that you don't want to go for too much and give away points on your serve.
He went for it when he made the mistake in the third set tiebreak, so I don't think there was many situations where I was too passive.テつ I thought he was going for his shots.
Even the break points he had, I felt like I served well on all of 'em.

Q.テつ When you see Wawrinka and Cilic winning Grand Slams last year, does that give you ideas, and is that your goal for this year?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, it is.テつ It does.テつ Seeing Stan win in Australia I think gave a lot players sort of like a moment just to reflect and take a deep breath and say, Okay, somebody else other than the top 3, 4 guys can do it.
Then seeing Marin do it as well, just sort of cements that thought in your head to keep pushing for that, and maybe you can achieve it before you thought you could.

Q.テつ Were you able to take a real vacation and kind of relax and have a nice time, or it was immediately back and work?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I went to Caribbean for about six days.

Q.テつ That's not that long.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I had that and then some media obligations that I had to do in Toronto.テつ I took maybe two days off.テつ I went to the U.S. for American Thanksgiving and spent time there with my friends.
That was it.

Q.テつ Did you feel like you needed to relax, that it's been a long year, that type of thing?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I felt tired, but for myself it was the first time actually went on sort of a beach vacation.テつ I felt like sort of as much as I was enjoying it, after four or five days I wanted to get back into things.
I had a lot of things that I wanted to do more than I did in 2014, so I wanted to get back in the swing of things and sort of see what progress I could make over the off‑season.

Q.テつ As a young emerging players, you and Kei may have more opportunity to play in a big tournament.テつ How do you prepare for that, and what would you do?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, now with the way Kei and I are ranked, we can't really meet early in tournaments.テつ That means you have a lot more to prepare for than just playing each other.テつ You have to win matches to get there.
Just got to keep getting better every day and keep making the progress and keep developing as players, as athletes, and as people.
We'll be in that situation for sure.テつ I believe we played five times last year alone.テつ I really doubt there will be a situation where we don't ever play again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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