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July 1, 2015

Milos Raonic


6‑0, 6‑2, 6‑7, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You slammed the door pretty firmly after a shaky game there at the end.テつ Sometimes it's good to have a big serve, eh?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, it does help.テつ Makes my life a little bit easier.

Q.テつ When you have a weapon like that serve, you're a young guy, does it take a couple of years to organize the rest of your game around it?テつ Can you talk about that a little bit.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Yeah, it definitely takes, at least it took me some more time to sort of figure out the rest of my game and how to sort of find that tennis identity.
I wasn't the best junior, by any means, but after when I was able to clarify what my strengths are and how to use them, I think I made good progress forward.

Q.テつ You feel it's complete now?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I think I'm improving every single day, but I know what I need to do, that's for sure.テつ Now it's just about getting better at it.

Q.テつ Tommy Haas at 37, what do you think about that?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think it's incredible what he's doing.テつ It's not just playing at 37 but playing at 37 and constantly coming back from many different things.テつ It's a testament to the passion he has for the game and the kind of work ethic and resilience he has that makes big problems not seem too big.

Q.テつ In the third set, did anything approaching anxiety, if not panic, start to settle in with you?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ I was serving pretty well.テつ That's always going to make my job a little bit easier.
Then I just had to sort of find a way a little bit better from the baseline and find a way to return a little bit better.

Q.テつ Was there any sense of trying to finish in three, and the third set maybe you pressed a little bit to try to get it over in three?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, I don't think so.テつ I think he sort of settled down a little bit.テつ I thought he was playing quite well.テつ He was actually probably doing a better job than I was in that third set.
I only really started figuring things out a little bit midway through that fourth set, getting sort of back on top.テつ I had that Love‑30 game where I had a forehand to make Love‑40, and then I had the Love‑40.
But all in all, it was like any three‑out‑of‑five‑set match is going to be.テつ It's going to go back and forth a little bit.テつ Especially good players is it ever one way.

Q.テつ There is a lot of talk about what a big asset a big serve is on grass, but do you approach grass court tennis, especially here, differently in a way you're going to serve or how much emphasis you put on the serve?テつ What is your philosophy that way?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, it's pretty much the same way.テつ My game, doesn't matter how well I'm playing, I still need my serve.テつ Doesn't matter how bad I'm playing, my serve can keep me in a match.テつ On any surface that's pretty much a factor.
So I always put a lot of emphasis and focus into it.テつ Obviously the last two years here, last year and this year, I'm serving differently than I did before.テつ I'm putting more emphasis on it.
Before I thought I could sort of get away with sort of just throwing it down just because it's grass and sort of slide away from the guy.テつ Then I realized last year I learned quite a bit how important it is to keep going for it full out all the time.

Q.テつ More flat?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Not flat but high paced.テつ Not slowing it down to sort of try and be fancy and hit the spots a bit more.テつ Keep the same efficiency I use on clay and hard courts, as well.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts on facing Nick?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's going to be a good match.テつ We haven't played for a year now.テつ I think a lot has changed on both ends.テつ It's something I look forward to.

Q.テつ What do you remember about that match most from last year?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I remember that there was many difficult moments, but I felt that the thing that helped me the most was my calm demeanor.テつ In that sense I had quite a few opportunities a few different times.テつ I wasn't making the most of them, but my attitude was what sort of helped me get over that hump and sort of clear my way through that match.

Q.テつ What are the Aussie fans like when they come out for Nick or other Australian players in your experience?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ They are great fans to have behind you.テつ The Canadians, as well, today were amazing out there.
It's a fun atmosphere.テつ I grew up watching sport, team sport in North America, so the rowdier the better.

Q.テつ How much have you improved since that victory?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Significantly.テつ I feel like I do a lot of things better.テつ I feel like I understand myself better.テつ I feel like I know how to control situations better, whether that be physically or just from the mental side.
So I have had a lot of experience since then.テつ I'm just trying to make sort of the most of every opportunity.
A lot of the times back then I'd be winning by playing well.テつ Now, even when I don't play my best, I can use my mental fortitude to find a way and play a bit, sort of squeeze my way through.

Q.テつ Talk about a sleeve off.テつ There's a suggestion that the winner gets to keep sleeve rights and the loser the next time you play maybe has to go sleeveless?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I think that's irrelevant (smiling).

Q.テつ Do you think it's fair to contrast you as sort of the solid citizen guy and he's a bit of the wild child?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I really couldn't care less.テつ My job is to go out and find a way to win a tennis match.

Q.テつ Tennis‑wise how much do you think he's improved?テつ And compare the two of you and both of your progress.
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, I think it's been in different shades but it's been pretty much both players making quite a bit of progress.テつ He's really come into the aspect of playing well and doing consistently well, especially in big moments.
I think last year I was showing a lot of consistency, but I think I have sort of stepped it up, barring injuries, and other than that, I feel like I have stepped up quite a bit since last year.

Q.テつ There is a lot of talk about Nick on court, swearing on court, the antics and everything.テつ Is it easy to keep your focus with other guys...
MILOS RAONIC:テつ My job is only myself.テつ That's my first job.テつ I need to take care of myself.テつ Sort of all those things are out of my control.

Q.テつ Is it easy to block it out?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I believe so.

Q.テつ What are the elements of his game that you find most challenging?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ Well, I think it's, for both of us, it's going to be first‑strike tennis.テつ I think we both do well, especially when serving, on probably two‑ to five‑ball rallies.テつ I think that's sort of both our strengths.
I think it's about who can sort of manage to take it over and dictate more in those situations.

Q.テつ Is this a big match, in your mind?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ It's a third round of a Grand Slam.テつ The same as every other third round of a Grand Slam.テつ Nothing more, nothing less.

Q.テつ Where are you on the continuum of the surgery to Queen's Club to two matches here now?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I'm much better obviously than I was at Queen's, but I'm still making my way back.テつ I'm doing everything I need to to be able to keep playing better and better every single match.

Q.テつ How was your foot today?テつ Do you generally feel pangs here and there?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I have discomfort but normal postsurgery discomfort.テつ Nothing out of the ordinary.

Q.テつ Less this time than in your first match, or there's not that quick change?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, it's been pretty consistent just because every day has been about trying to sort of put in the time on court.テつ It's never been taking a day to recover from that aspect.テつ When days pile up, the foot gets better, but discomfort doesn't go down.

Q.テつ Do you need painkillers?

Q.テつ Do you like playing on grass?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ I have learned to like it.テつ It wasn't an initial feeling.テつ I had a terrible memory here in 2011 slipping and having to go straight pretty much a few days later to hip surgery.テつ Few years of struggles after that because I just didn't understand it.
But when I sort of got that understanding and knowledge of what I need to do, it's always been a fun challenge.

Q.テつ I think you clocked the third‑fastest serve today in Wimbledon history.テつ Is there any significance to you?テつ And how much more do you think you can tap into your power?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No.テつ There isn't any significance.テつ As long as the serve doesn't come back, I'm happy.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ The patch you were wearing on your sleeve, is that part of the deal with Tennis Canada?
MILOS RAONIC:テつ No, that's completely separate.

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