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January 26, 2015

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/F. Lopez
6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you sum that one up?
MILOS RAONIC: I thought it was okay. I'm happy with sort of the attitude that got me through. I stayed calm even though things weren't always panning out how I would have liked. I came up with the right play on my first match point. He came up with a great shot. Missed a lot of breakpoint opportunities, but overall I can't complain too much. I fought my way through.

Q. Compared to the level of your other matches?
MILOS RAONIC: It depends. Because obviously he was changing up things. Obviously I felt better playing against Becker. But I think the level was about the same. But just because he was changing up things a lot, him making me feel more uncomfortable. So I don't think it was on my level.

Q. Did the Canadian weather conditions have an effect on the speed?
MILOS RAONIC: This is too warm to call it Canadian weather conditions (smiling). So I don't think so.

Q. A lot seemed to be made in the post-match interview of all the history you created. I think they mentioned the last person that made three quarterfinals from Canada happened 100 years ago. Do you think about that history at all going onto the court? Is that something that motivates you, your rewriting your country's history books?
MILOS RAONIC: Honestly, I didn't know that was a stat before I went out there. No, it's great to be doing what I'm doing and that it is making a difference. It is, I guess, part of some history, if you look really deep. But at the end of the day, at the same time, I'm always pushing myself for what I want to achieve. I'm always sort of looking in the mirror and saying, That's who I have to compare myself to: to myself.

Q. What did you feel when the fourth set ended and you weren't able to finish it off?
MILOS RAONIC: I felt fine. I took a second just to sort of think back and understand there's no tiebreak in this one, and I don't think I'm going to lose my serve. I feel pretty comfortable in that situation. So I was pretty ready to guts it out.

Q. How about the fact that he double-faulted on all the breakpoints and service games that he lost?
MILOS RAONIC: That's a bonus. If I can't do it, thankfully he did it for me.

Q. Do you take credit for that because he's under pressure?
MILOS RAONIC: It was. Even the first breakpoint he saved at the beginning of the match, he goes for a big serve down the T. A few times that helped him. Obviously when he was doing that, I was just telling myself, Okay, keep putting him in that situation, make him come up with it. It worked out in the end. It could have been a lot longer if he makes that second serve going for it hard. But it is what it is. I'm glad with the way I took care of my serve, and I was able to put pressure on his service games as well.

Q. You said before you had a few breakpoints you didn't capitalize on. When you're both big servers, the breakpoint opportunities are few and far between, when you get a rare one, does it make it harder?
MILOS RAONIC: I think in that moment you want to convert it. But the thing I've gotten better at is I haven't let it sort of linger in my mind. I've been putting that behind me. It obviously helps I don't think necessarily I served my best today, but I served, again, a high first-serve percentage. It's something we worked a lot on this off-season, to increase those numbers. Being in that situation today helped with the stress of if I don't convert breakpoints.

Q. How long have you been wearing a sleeve?
MILOS RAONIC: Since Miami of last year.

Q. Is that precautionary?
MILOS RAONIC: First it was for medical purposes. I had a rash and I couldn't have my arm in the sun, so I had to play with long sleeves. I wasn't really too fond of that, with the warmth in Miami. I went on with that. I've liked the feeling ever since. It's compression. Never feels like it gets too hot. But on a day like today that's cool, it feels like it's nice and warm.

Q. I think it will be Lleyton, Roger, but say it's Djokovic, three matches on Rod Laver. How would you look forward to playing Novak in there?
MILOS RAONIC: I just want the opportunity to go against him. Doesn't matter what court, you can put us on Court 23 or wherever. I want a shot at whoever it is in the next round.

Q. If it is Djokovic, what would you take from the match at the French and Italy last year?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I'm doing things differently. I'm moving better. I feel like I have it within myself. I just got to bring it out. I'm going to, like always, focus on myself first, make sure that I get my things in order, get my things organized, play my game, then throughout the match make the adjustments I have to.

Q. Is there something you like about playing against him?
MILOS RAONIC: I play for the opportunity to have a shot against the big guys at the big slams. So the first week's about getting through and giving yourself that opportunity. I think that has a significant enough meaning on its own.

Q. Roger likes watching matches while he's here, stay up and watch. Would you have watched Murray, for example?
MILOS RAONIC: I did not watch Murray. I did watch the end of the Seppi match after I got back. I watched about two and a half sets of the Murray match just because I woke up early that day, and I'm not going to neglect myself if I feel tired of sleep to stay up and watch. But I do enjoy watching throughout the tournaments.

Q. Are you watching as a fan or as a professional to pick up stuff?
MILOS RAONIC: As a fan, but I don't neglect the opportunity to learn as much as I can.

Q. Your third Grand Slam, different surfaces. You must feel positive about your progress.
MILOS RAONIC: I feel like I'm constantly improving. I feel happy with the team I have around me. It's about getting close to my goals. I feel like I'm on the right track for that.

Q. What are your targets for this year?
MILOS RAONIC: There's really no specific numbers because there's so many variables. But really it's just about one day getting myself the opportunity to be the best player in the world.

Q. Do you ever think what would have happened if your parents did fill out that multi-page immigration form and come to Australia instead of Canada?
MILOS RAONIC: I would have played on a bigger court last year than the outside courts like I did. That's about it. I haven't given it much more thought than that.
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