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March 18, 2015

Milos Raonic


M. RAONIC/T. Robredo
6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Is that the kind of match you like?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, I played well.テつ When I figured it out I gave myself a lot of opportunities.テつ Pretty smooth.

Q.テつ Is that the best you have hit your groundstrokes this week?テつ Seemed crisp pretty much from beginning to end.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It is definitely better.テつ I'm getting better each match.テつ Just gotta figure out my serve.
And things are going well.テつ I'm returning‑‑ getting myself in a lot of points, returning deep, and giving myself a lot of looks.テつ As the match is going on, as well, I'm getting better.
So that's a good sign.

Q.テつ Do you think the conditions are pretty ideal for you?テつ You get a lot of bounce on your serve.テつ It's not the fastest court in the world.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I like it also.テつ It gives me time a little bit to organize my game and so forth.
There is maybe a little bit of a drawback on that at the same time.テつ But I think I do a good job managing with it sort of like a clay court that's a little bit easier to move on.

Q.テつ The knee taping, there are a lot of questions about that.テつ What exactly is it?テつ When did you start doing it?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's just something I do to get my mind on the right track to refocus.テつ I have been doing it this entire year.

Q.テつ What are the origins?テつ How did you come up with it?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Just through conversation with my team.テつ Just something to make sure that I focus on the right things to simplify.テつ Like always, just to simplify what I need to do, and it sort of clears my mind.

Q.テつ Flavia Pennetta was in here yesterday and she said after she dropped the first set of her match she was getting emotional.テつ Basically had a mental breakdown.テつ She was crying and yelling.テつ But she came on after that and said she felt much better.テつ The average tennis fan doesn't know what you guys go through to win a tennis match.テつ I'm just wondering if you can talk about the wave of emotions you guys go through in a single match and amplify it in a championship.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ You face a lot of things before you go out on court.テつ Yeah, you can be confident, but there is a lot of uncertainty about how things are going to play out that day.テつ That uncertainty, when things aren't going well, can cause obviously insecurities, which make all the difficult things that are going on magnified and make them seem bigger than they really are.
So you have these emotions.テつ There are a lot of wins that you have where rather than joy it feels like a good relief.テつ Then there are a lot of wins that are the most amazing feeling.
You have a complete range of emotions that everybody and anybody can face.テつ It's just how you deal with them that really makes a difference, that separates the three guys that are at the top from everybody else so far.
But that's about always learning how to deal with it and get better with it.

Q.テつ Have you talked about your next round yet against Rafa?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I haven't.テつ I have to focus on myself and organize my game.テつ Last time I played him I managed to do a better job than the previous few times, so I think I have a reference base.
Just try to make the most of it and go out there and put forth, firstly, the right attitude, find my game, and then see the adjustments I need to make.

Q.テつ Can you also expand about the conditions?テつ I think some people talked about the court being slower and the ball bouncing.テつ That seems to play into Rafa's hand, but also sometimes it helps a big server like you.テつ Can you talk about these conditions, how it will come into play?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah.テつ Like I said at the beginning, it's like playing on a clay court that's a little bit easier to move on in that sense there is no sliding around.テつ The ground's more stable underneath you.
It does bounce.テつ When you get ahead, I don't think you finish off the points as quickly, but it lets you sort of construct the points.テつ Lets you find your game.テつ Lets you have the time to organize what you're trying to do and then try to make the most of it.

Q.テつ Have you watched Rafa play here?テつ Because unlike clay, he does play closer to the baseline around here.テつ I don't know if you've seen that or what kind of difference you think that might make.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, Rafa is at his most dangerous when he can get inside the baseline.テつ I don't think it's a difference on clay or hard courts.テつ When he can get his forehand inside the baseline, that's when he's at his most dangerous.
So you have to keep him back as much as you can.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts on Wayne Odesnik today, and in general the sort of state of antidoping in tennis?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, I think it's unfortunate what's happened with him.テつ Not necessarily unfortunate for him.テつ Just sort of the way he went about things and the whole story behind that.
But there is a price to pay.テつ It's like the prison of sport, you know.テつ It's hard to find even a job or anything after that in that same field.
So it's a price he's going to have to pay.テつ It's unfortunate he felt he needed to do that, and it's unfair to obviously other competitors.
But that's what it is.テつ I think tennis is at a great place with the protocol and the precautions that are taken in the sport, and it is very rare we have these cases on tour.

Q.テつ Do you think he's totally an outlier, or is there more that you think is going undetected?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I think what is there, if you participate in the protocol that we go through, you realize that it's very annoying, but it's a good kind of annoying, because you know it weeds out issues.
It's not always pleasant.テつ The first time you think, Hey, I want to get away for a day, and then it's like, Okay, don't forget to change your whereabouts.テつ That's like literally the first thing.テつ Not, Hey, what am I going to do there?テつ That's literally the first thing that goes through your mind.
But it's a very positive protocol that we face, and I'm happy about the way things are and the way things are dealt with from at least my understanding.

Q.テつ Just to go back to the next match, how much do you enjoy playing somebody like Rafa?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's the most exciting thing.テつ I'm here because I want to break through and win at these big events.テつ Everybody is aware that those are the kind of guys you have to get through.
I have consistently been able to put myself in this position where I'm facing top guys in big events.テつ I want to make a difference more than I have before.
So it's really like a big challenge for me, a big test.テつ I'm ready to step up.

Q.テつ Today's match, how good were you feeling on court?テつ Everything was going pretty well.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, everything was going pretty well.テつ I figured out my game match by match.テつ Even as the match goes on I figure it out more and more.テつ I am playing well from the baseline; I am organizing my game well.
I just got to clean up a little bit my serve and put those kind of pieces together.

Q.テつ Is Rafa the most intense guy you have been across the net from?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ He's the most intense at expressing it, but I think it's ‑‑there is a lot of intensity in a lot of players, like Novak and Roger.テつ I don't think they lack intensity by any means.
But I think Rafa really imposes it within himself, but also putting it out there to be noticed by his opponents and to bring himself up, as well.

Q.テつ Obviously there is the ITF antidoping policies and obviously your national federations.テつ I was just wondering how that breaks down for you and how it applies to you.テつ Do you feel like the ITF tests you more than the Canadian antidoping?テつ Vice versa?テつ Things like that.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think the ITF does test me more, because most of my testing that's happened from my national, let's say federation or Olympic committee, has happened when I've been in Canada.テつ There has been instances outside of Canada and so forth, but most of it has happened within Canada.
Whereas I get tested many times throughout the year, so I think the ITF is on top of that I would say the most.

Q.テつ In terms of out‑of‑competition testing then, is that really the Canadian Federation carrying that ball testing you like at home as opposed to ITF?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, it's‑‑ for example, last year at one point ‑‑ did I play Eastbourne last year or was it the year before?テつ So the year before.テつ Sorry.テつ I believe I got tested like I think it was 13 out of 16 weeks.テつ Half out of competition, half during tournaments.
So I don't necessarily always know who's asking it because they don't really always say.テつ They say that it's the company there that's there to take the sample.テつ But you go around the protocol, you do what you need, you provide your samples, and you are very professional about it and you treat it as it is.

Q.テつ When you serve 150 and the crowd gasps and all that, can you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 the temptation to try to hit it 151, or does it barely even register at this point?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I'm just happy to get a free point after that.テつ (Smiling.)テつ The less I have to move, the better.テつ Thank you.

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