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January 18, 2015

Milos Raonic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You obviously made many strides last year. Do you feel you have a good launchpad for this year or do you feel you're more a target for more players?
MILOS RAONIC: I think both of those things come together. There's definitely more of an awareness when you sort of make your way through tournaments, through draws and so forth. But at the same time there's targets I'm sort of placing, as well, of goals I want to achieve, things I want to do this year.

Q. You started the season well with this final. What have you been working on in the off-season and how do you feel your game is already coming in to this Australian Open?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I'm able to sort of organize my game and do the things I want to do, which is important. We spent a lot of time working on fitness. We spent a lot of time, through discussion, working on the mental side of things, how I want to deal with things, especially at important moments against top players. All these kind of things. We had about three and a half weeks to really sort of just buckle down and put in the work.

Q. Matching sleeves there. Do you have a sleeve obsession?
MILOS RAONIC: Matching sleeves? It's a sweater (smiling).

Q. What did it feel like when you lost to Federer, having played such a great match?
MILOS RAONIC: It was motivating in a lot of ways because first tournament of the year, you don't really know how things are going to play out. I was able to really give myself an opportunity through many matches to just constantly get better. I feel like every match I played, I got better. I played well in the semis. I played much better in the final. I was sort of figuring things out. I felt even in the final I think I played really well, but I feel like I could have served better. It was very motivating in that sense, sort of giving it the value of what it is, trying to prepare to play my best tennis as possible here.

Q. In 2011 this tournament was kind of a breakout for you. Does this tournament hold a bit of a special place for you?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it does. There's a few factors. I think everybody is so eager to get back into playing after having a month and a half off, or however long. So I think that also adds to it. Most players are coming from a pretty cold climate. It's nice to be here in the warmth. For me it has that nostalgic feeling. I've always played well here. I've really enjoy it. I've enjoyed the atmosphere. I've enjoyed the opportunities I have. I want to just keep building on that.

Q. Nishikori being in the final of the US Open, is it in your mind somewhere that could also be the turn of the new generation, yourself, Kei and Dimitrov?
MILOS RAONIC: I guess it's sort of how you define 'generation'. I think we can step up and give ourselves a possibility to win at the bigger tournaments, but I don't think there's going to be somebody stepping up like Roger, Rafa and Novak did a few times winning three out of four slams. But I think there will be an opportunity for one of us to step up and have an opportunity to win their first slam.

Q. Because you have more experience or because you feel they're getting older, more injured?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I just think we're getting better. We're all getting older. We're all getting closer and closer to - what would you say - peak maturity. I think we're believing more also. So I think there's a lot of factors to it. You can't pinpoint one thing.

Q. You've played Roger in all four years you've been on the tour now. How would you say his game has evolved? Any different than the first time you played him? Have you noticed anything?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I would say the thing that I've noticed the most, compared to 2011, he's playing more aggressively, I feel. Like he comes forward more, all these kind of things. Other than that I think Roger's been Roger. He's been finding ways and he's been winning.

Q. A lot of players say they find it easy if there's someone else from their country to share the load. Do you find it's an assistance for you to have a top Canadian woman player at the same time as you're breaking through?
MILOS RAONIC: It's a good thing to have. But it's not easier, it's not harder. It's about going about and trying to achieve the things you want to achieve. What I do, what she does, I don't think it really affects the other person. I don't think it correlates to the other person. It's two very different tours, different things that everybody's trying to achieve.

Q. You said you've been working on the mental side. Is it Ivan? Are you working with a professional?
MILOS RAONIC: It's just sort of with the team, with Ivan, with Ricardo, everybody around, just to sort of deal a bit better with specific moments, especially when it gets to the crunch time against the top players.

Q. In terms of focus?
MILOS RAONIC: Just finding ways to sort of maximize myself better, that I don't get caught up in the wrong things, and I'm making sure I'm focusing on the right stuff.

Q. You practiced with Ferrer yesterday, a few days ago with Wawrinka. What has been your best practice session since you've been here?
MILOS RAONIC: Practice doesn't matter. It's about how I play on Tuesday, to tell you the truth. I don't really give it too much value. But best practice session? If you ask the coaches and me, we'll probably all give you different answers.

Q. Who else have you hit with?
MILOS RAONIC: Seppi and Dimitrov.

Q. What has been the most fun thing you've done in Melbourne or the most fun thing you would like to do away from the tennis?
MILOS RAONIC: I've spent time, gone around the city. I've seen different aspects of the city. I think I would like to go back to the Melbourne Zoo on a day off. I would like to say it was 2011, I'm not sure, but it's something I'd like to do again.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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