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January 9, 2016
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
M. RAONIC/B. Tomic
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Three matches in, how are you feeling physically?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I feel good. Things are going well. I'm playing better and better each match. Got to be proud with that.
Q. What do you remember from last year's final and what do you think you ought be do different? I mean, it was very tight, but...
MILOS RAONIC: Last year's final I managed to turn around a difficult situation being down a set and a break.
I had quite a few opportunities at the beginning of the third, and he got the better of me by then. I feel like I'm a better player now, so hopefully I can change around that.
Q. How encouraging is it for you - after setbacks last year - to get a final under your belt first week of the year already?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's sort of confirming to myself and the people close to me that we're on the right track, doing the right kind of work, and the progress is there.
So tomorrow is a great test for me, and one that I'm going to try to make the most of.
Q. You might have answered that before but why did you decide to separate from an Ivan?
MILOS RAONIC: Just we felt like it was time for a change, and that was pretty much it.
Q. You did or he did?
MILOS RAONIC: Came mostly from him first, and then it was something that was agreed upon. We were trying to change things around.
Q. When was that?
MILOS RAONIC: Right when I announced it. I think it happened the day before. I don't know when I announced it. Maybe middle of November.
Q. Playing Federer, why is he so difficult?
MILOS RAONIC: He can do a lot of things differently. You know, you know what you want to do against him and what you should do. He can just make this part difficult on you.
Each time he can come out playing in different ways and he's able to do a lot of different things. But what I need to do is very clear for myself.
So that's what I'm going to strive for and try to play it on my terms as much as possible rather than his.
Q. He has a lot of variety I would imagine.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, he does. He can do a lot of different things. If you play him yesterday and you play him tomorrow, you might have some ideas of what he might do and so forth. Just because of the variety, he can come in with a very different approach into the match.
At the same time, for me, it's more about what I need to do. If I can put those things in order, I can give myself an opportunity. That's for sure.
Q. So you would have to attack a lot, soon as you can.
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's both of us. It's about who really can get ahead in the point first.
Q. People call yourself and your group of players, like Nishikori, the younger generation. After all these years, do you feel like a young player still?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel in a lot of senses -- I guess I wish I was younger, but I feel in a lot of senses that every single time I step out on court, every single time I have an opportunity to play and I have an opportunity to work and train on things, I feel like I'm still in that amazing part of my career where I feel like I'm making big steps of progress and I'm able to improve a lot week in and week out.
That's the most motivating thing.
Q. Seems on some big points you tend to volley. Is that something that comes naturally to you? Is it something that can be an important difference for you against some of the other players, top 10?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, you know, I think before I would maybe come in sometimes out of sometimes maybe a panic. Now it's a situation where I've put myself up front enough times to know what I'm actually doing up there and to know how to construct around it and know if I can get up there in a good position. I'm putting myself in odds that are in my favor.
So when it does come to those big moments I'm going to put my best stuff forth, play with my strengths, and try to use that towards my benefit?
Q. Did you expect anything different? I'm guessing you wouldn't have played against a former coach. Do you think that will add a different wrinkle to this encounter?
MILOS RAONIC: I can't imagine so. Roger, like was mentioned earlier, he's had the solution for me plenty of times. It's more on myself, what I can do about it.
Q. Did you anticipate anything strange at all looking over and seeing him in the opposite box?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't even look up to see my own guys, so I don't think I'll be looking the other way.
Q. How far into Making a Murderer are you?
MILOS RAONIC: You know what? Three episodes -- no, four episodes, and it's making me angry. (Laughter.)
Q. What impressed you most about Bernie's game out there tonight? Get a few more balls back on the serve than you were expecting?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, but Bernie has always been good with that. For him, maybe where he might struggle with his movement, he does a phenomenal job of tennis understanding and knowledge where he anticipates incredibly well.
So you know there is always going to be a lot of balls that come back. Maybe you think you can get ahead in points, and he's standing over there.
I think he's doing things a lot better. Before, when you would sort of see him play you would be, Okay, he has a hot streak for a period of time and you see how it's going to carry him through a 12-month season.
Whereas now you can tell he's been doing this for a while. It's not just sort of instinct taking over. He's made a habit of playing at this level.
Q. He said you're quite close friends off the court. You hang out with him a little bit? How do you find him off the court? He's a colorful character.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, you know, people have a certain perception of who he is and how he can be, which I find in a lot of situations can be very falsifying. He's a good guy. Deep down he's a good guy. He's made some decisions I'm sure he wishes he could take back, but at the end of the day, there is no sense of bad intention with Bernard.
If there was, he wouldn't be a person I would want to really surround myself with. I think that speaks enough.
Q. Novak is playing Nadal tomorrow. Can Nadal beat him on hard courts again?
MILOS RAONIC: He can. That's for sure. I don't know how long it's been, but it's a first tournament of the week -- of the year, sorry. It will be an interesting one to watch. I played Rafa what was it, a couple days now, ago. You could see he was trying to be a bit more aggressive, going for a bit more on the serve, opening up a little earlier down the line with the forehand.
So he's trying to do new things. Obviously that was an exhibition, so it will be interesting to see if he continues to follow through with that in the tournament.
Definitely trying to stay closer. Be interesting how they both react to it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports