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January 24, 2015

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/B. Becker
6-4, 6-3, 6-3
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be pleased to get off the court with such a great performance so quickly.
MILOS RAONIC: I'm happy that I played better than my second round, and that's all I can really ask from myself. I focused and executed on what I needed to do.

Q. Is it maybe the most controlled first week you had in a Grand Slam?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes and no. I think I know how to control things better. So I think it might come off that way. But at the same time it was difficult situations I sort of had to fight my way through. I was fortunate enough that I was doing well. From the start of the match I had the focus, right focus, right intentions. I just think my level has increased, so therefore it just sort of carries through.

Q. The courts are quicker this year. Is that better for your game?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I don't think Hisense and Margaret Court are that quick. They're much slower than the outside courts, the practice courts. I heard that Laver is a little bit quicker compared to Margaret Court. I haven't had a chance to hit on it. For me, honestly, the quick courts is not necessarily always a good thing. I like to sort of have time to find myself and organize my game.

Q. Would you have liked to have played in Rod Laver by now?
MILOS RAONIC: It's not a big deal. You sort of take things as they come. You forget the would have, could have, should have kind of scenarios.

Q. Do you have supreme confidence that if you do get broken you're going to break back, he'll feel it from your side?
MILOS RAONIC: I can't say I have a supreme confidence I'm going to break back the next game. Things might be a little bit different. I do have a lot of confidence in what I'm able to do. I feel like I'm executing much better, especially on second serve return points. So when I can sort of get myself into it, I'm doing much better in those situations. I think me getting broken in that game just sort of came down to just a little bit of a mental drop. I shouldn't have double-faulted twice. He played good on the next two points. One fortunate point that he played well on, and the other one he guessed right and hit a good return. I just took care of my serve and I focused on what I needed to do.

Q. Two years now with Ivan. How would you say you've evolved with him over that time?
MILOS RAONIC: I've made great progress. I understand much better what I need to do, how I need to do things. Think that's what him and Ricardo have added to my game the most, is just that peace of mind, how to go about things, especially when it comes to matches. Practices are always changing, but I have my routine, things I follow, things I believe I need to do. Even when things get out of control, I can sort of direct myself back to that and start from there. It's been great with the progress we've been able to make. I think I've improved in all other aspects as well.

Q. What sort of off-season did you have? Anything different from past years?
MILOS RAONIC: Just a little bit shorter than I would have necessarily liked. It's a good problem to have because I was able to qualify for the World Tour Finals in London. Anytime that's an issue, I'll be happy with that. I got much fitter. I improved much more on testing when it comes to fitness results. I spent time away from tennis, just spending time talking with coaches, with my staff around me, on what I need to do to improve my mental game because I felt a lot of the times throughout 2014, I was my biggest enemy. Then we made progress in development. We put a lot of focus on my serve this off-season. I think that's why my first-serve percentage numbers are up and so forth. I'm happy with the way things are going. I feel comfortable and confident.

Q. You've lost a fair bit of weight in the last year.
MILOS RAONIC: The last few weeks actually, yes. Since the end of the year.

Q. Do you know how much weight you've lost?
MILOS RAONIC: If you ask me right now after I ate a sandwich, probably six, four kilos. If you ask me first thing in the morning, probably six. Somewhere in that range. I try to keep myself really at a constant number, but I tend to fluctuate two kilos, plus or minus.

Q. Gluten free?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I've been gluten free for about two, two and a half years now. I think it's just more an understanding. I would get a little bit greedy when it would come to going to restaurants and stuff. I would always go by I have a craving for this thing, this thing, this thing. I would order three things and eat until I couldn't eat no more. Now I have a better moderation, understanding of getting the right amount of food in me, so I can sleep much better, digesting much better. What ended up happening is I lost weight after.

Q. Towards the end of your match you had a conversation with the umpire. Can you tell us what that was about.
MILOS RAONIC: I think it was on a return of serve or something, I guess he hit the ball with the bottom part of the racquet, his shock absorber, many ways to call it, but the little thing on the racquet, fell off. I saw it go off. I thought it should be a let. She told me that if it happens on his side, it's not a let, which didn't make sense to me from the aspect that it's something I see. So I asked her, What if his hat fell off or a ball goes on his side? Why it's not a let, because it's a visual disturbance to me. I thought it should have been replayed. I was fine with how the point went because it was a small thing. I just wasn't necessarily understanding of the reasoning behind it. That's it.

Q. What do you mean, If it happened on his side?
MILOS RAONIC: The shock absorber stayed on his side. I see it. It could go across. If it hits me in the eye, obviously I think it should be (smiling). But I didn't necessarily understand because she differentiated if a ball is on his side as opposed to a shock absorber, both are hindrances in my mind.

Q. Were you hard on yourself last year? You said you were your own worst enemy.
MILOS RAONIC: I would overthink things. I'd let myself get to me. I'd be a little bit too negative. I'd expect too much from myself. I just never had sort of a constant medium of how to internally converse with myself, to either clear my mind or to get myself refocused on the right kind of thing. We sort of have worked on a few things to sort of just find a little bit more peace. Especially I found against the top guys towards end of sets, 4-All, even if things are going well and I'm up 4-All, sometimes I would get myself panicking, where I'm hoping that's different this year.

Q. Dealing with losses, is that a big part of your growth as a tennis professional?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it is. I've sort of learnt to differentiate losses as sort of being the end of the world because they do hurt. The amount I hate to lose is I think pretty extraordinary. Doesn't matter in what it is. So I think I've just sort of learnt to give the right importance to the right kind of thing, not lose too much energy on different aspects, get caught up in other things and make them bigger than they really are, try to as soon as I can open up my mind and see a bigger picture.

Q. Any sympathy for Vasek? He didn't play the doubles yesterday.
MILOS RAONIC: I saw he didn't play the doubles. I didn't know necessarily directly what the issue was. It's unfortunate because he's playing well. He had a tough time at the beginning of last year. He was playing really well last year. I think he's even improved compared to the way he started off last year. To have to go through that again, hopefully this year he'll just be able to shorten down the time if it is really an issue. He was making a bit of a comeback. I don't know how it finished. I know he got one break back.

Q. He lost the second set.
MILOS RAONIC: But I think Vasek has shown us, especially in Davis Cup when I've been around, he can find his way back. Hopefully he can sort of work his way around that.

Q. You've been here before, fourth round, haven't made it further. You're going to be getting to the top guys. What are your thoughts going forward into the next round and beyond that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, well, I got to focus on myself first thing. Obviously I got to make adjustments for my opponents and so forth, but I got to get myself in order, my game, my mentality in order. Without that I won't give myself a chance. I think last year I made my first quarterfinal and followed it up with my first semifinal. I have a better understanding of how to deal with things, a better understanding of how to play second weeks. To be honest, the tournament really does start the second week of the slams. It's time to sort of buckle down.

Q. Your confidence level being a crowd favorite this year?
MILOS RAONIC: Being a crowd favorite in that sense is a bonus. It's an honor to be able to play in a great atmosphere and to be well recepted [sic]. I just try to put internally on things I can control. I do believe in myself a lot. I do believe I have a lot more answers than I had last year. And I do believe I can use them in the right way to put myself in as good a possibility to win that I can.

Q. Do you wish you had a Milos Army following yourself like Genie does, pretty girls cheering for you?
MILOS RAONIC: Tough question. I'm happy I do have the people I have in my box. They make my life very good.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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