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January 10, 2016

Milos Raonic

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

M. RAONIC/R. Federer

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be very satisfied how aggressive you were able to stay throughout the match. What, in your opinion, made the difference today?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, you know, it's always against him about who can dictate. I felt that other than maybe one service game where -- I don't know if I double faulted three times -- but I was staying quite a bit ahead on my serve and always close on his, except for one that I lost at love. I felt like most of the other ones I was getting to 30, s I was giving myself opportunities and then was able to capitalize twice.

Q. The double faults three times came just after your medical timeout. What was the issue?
MILOS RAONIC: Just a little bit the adductor. So just after the timeout it was a little bit hard to push off just until I got my legs going, and I think that's why they were sort of floating long on me and the last one came short on me.

Q. What does a win like this do for you going into the Australian Open?
MILOS RAONIC: Oh, it does great things. For myself it signifies within the team how concrete and good the work we're doing is.

At the same time, with the difficulties I've had last year, it's maybe a good way for me to show the other guys I will face going in Melbourne, you know, I've got my stuff back together and I can play some good tennis again.

Q. You think you can be ready to win a tournament like the Australian Open in a couple weeks or contend in slam in 2016 in a serious way?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, definitely. Sort of two steps: Being able to step up and play great for two weeks, which I believe I can definitely do. Then there is the aspect of if you want to compete to be the best player in the world, that's about playing a good about 30 weeks.

That's maybe another step away, but I definitely feel I have it within myself to step up with play great tennis for two weeks.

Q. You were playing pretty well last year until the spring, and then after that kind of struggled. Talk about that a little bit. How frustrated were you?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I it was a frustrating -- I openly spoke about I want to make a true breakthrough at a slam last year. It was frustrating for many aspects. I left a little bit disappointed maybe with the way I played in the quarters in Melbourne, but I felt like was on the right track.

Then I missed Paris. Technically I pretty much missed Wimbledon as well. No way I could put myself in a position to contend with only two weeks of tennis behind me.

Then also the newer problems sort of took the US Open away from me. So those things were a little bit hard to take, hard to swallow. And then the fact that I thought it got better after the US Open. I played well in St. Petersburg, and then I went back to the whole, you know, dealing with issues again.

It was tough to also end the year early, not play Paris, where the year before I made finals. So to see myself slip a little bit, even though I knew it was not necessarily strictly to my tennis level but outside things, those things were hard to accept, hard to swallow, and in some ways also depressing to deal with.

Every single year until now my ranking had been going up. Some years more than others. That's the thing I was most proud of. To see that slip was hard to accept and also very motivating.

Q. So in November, December what were you thinking? Yeah, I can come back? I can get better? I can really do that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, for sure. I spent three weeks. I spent some time in Israel to see doctors there. I spent some time in Toronto. I spent some time in Monaco. You know, it was three weeks of five days here, five there, just because we didn't have any clear solution or clear understanding of what I needed to do to get better.

That is the most frustrating part. Everybody was saying, You're getting better, you're getting better, and then I would take a few steps back. Maybe the first few weeks of preparations were a little bit difficult because it was just mentally draining, because even though I knew I was better I was still asking myself, Okay, if I still push myself this much will it come of up again tomorrow?

When I was able to go through that for a few weeks -- if did IPTL was a little bit harder to sort of be facing the same issue a little bit again, but I could see it was going together well. I knew I would be dealing with small little things similar because it wasn't something I could make disappear in three, four weeks.

But I don't think twice about it and doesn't weigh on me mentally.

Q. Do you think given the experience you had last year, that the injury you had tonight that you needed the treatment for, you may have tried to play through in a previous season instead of taking the timeout?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, but it's also a self-confidence, self-comfort, understanding that maybe sometimes I would be like, Okay, I don't want to show that there is anything going on to the other guy.

At the end of the day, what I've learned for me, the most important part is making the guy adjust to me. I've got to take care of myself. That gave me a chance to sort of work out that issue, get relaxed a little bit, and get back to what does Milos need to do to keep going forward in this match.

Q. So that's a good sign.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's a maturity. It's focusing on what matters rather than what may be perceived.

Q. Can you clarify on the year-end injury, what was it?
MILOS RAONIC: Struggling still with back spasms. I struggled from I believe Montréal on.

Q. How does it feel having been in this same exact situation last year and come away with a win?
MILOS RAONIC: No, it feels great. It feels great considering how the last nine months have been. It adds a sort of cherry on top to all that.

I feel like maybe there was some attention to other things brought in the off-season due to changes and so forth, and I just, at the end of the day, want to focus on my tennis and do better. I feel like I'm doing that.

I stepped up and was able to show that to myself and everybody else, today. That's what I'm most proud of.

Q. Been talking with Carlos this week and texting?
MILOS RAONIC: We speak. With myself multiple times a day and with Ricardo.

Q. What did he say going into the final today?
MILOS RAONIC: It was, Keep playing the way you've been playing this week. Pull your game together, and you can be better than him on the court.

Q. Did he give anything different, say, than last year? Attack a little more?
MILOS RAONIC: Just because this week I was attacking more, I think that's what the message was. Keep doing what you've been doing this week. I have some new comfort and understanding at the net. You know, I was a lot more persistent.

I think even sometimes when I came in, it's not necessarily the best shot to come in on, but knowing that I can somewhat take care of myself up at the net gives some kind of mental comfort.

Q. Have you actually started practicing with him or you will start next week?
MILOS RAONIC: We spent -- I was at IPTL -- maybe six working throughout that. Everything else has been through communication.

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