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January 27, 2016

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/G. Monfils

6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. How did you feel about that match?
MILOS RAONIC: I felt good. You know, I did the things well. Even in that second set before I got broken I created some opportunities. He came up with some big serves. I don't know if it was two or three opportunities that I had. I had another opportunity later in that set.

I was creating a bunch of chances for myself. I made good use of a few of them. I then continued to make the most of those little leads.

Q. How did you feel in a match like that just being back, second time back in a big match on Rod Laver against a guy maybe you're expected to beat?
MILOS RAONIC: I felt good, you know, especially that I took care of the things I need to take care of. I was dictating I felt most of the time. I was hitting my shots well. I was quite efficient off the baseline. When I had the chance, I came forward. Closed shots off there.

Maybe a little bit passive in the second set, but in the third I sort of turned that around for the better. Could have been a little bit maybe more forthcoming in the fourth as well, but I have to be happy with the way I dealt with things, how I played, and how I backed up the performance from two days ago.

Q. What does it mean for you to be back in a Grand Slam semifinal after the tough year you had last season?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's a very positive thing if you look at the big picture. Right now in this moment alone it's a great opportunity for me. I had a little bit of a disappointing semifinal two years ago now, and sort of just want to change that story around and give myself another go with more experience and where I feel like I'm a better player than I was two years ago.

Q. Was there a match in Brisbane or here that really told you you were playing at a higher level and gave you the confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I would probably say the second match in Brisbane. It was sort of a big click. Even though against Bernard I struggled in the third match, I felt like I was in control of the match and so forth. I was playing on my terms. I got ahead in a lot games to 30 first. All those things were the right things.

I was putting myself in those positions to get ahead and making more and more of those opportunities count. First you got to get yourself there and then see if you can make it count.

Q. In a previous press conference you said Carlos Moya is a kind the organizer of your team. Talk a little bit more about him.
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think it's an organizer of the team. I think it's more of an organizer in the way I go about my game. I think that's what he's sort of bringing to it. I think Riccardo is more the one that's going to be doing the heavy load work. Riccardo, at the end of the day, is as much of a coach as anybody on tour. He's done it his whole life. He's done it with so many different players.

He likes to be there as well during the boring weeks in the middle of nowhere sitting six hours on court. So I think he's going to do that kind of stuff.

I think Carlos is going to take on more of the task of making me more efficient with my game when I have the tools, how to use them, how to go about matches with certain players. He's played a lot of these guys, especially the ones you'll play in the latter stages of tournaments. Just going to give me that peace of mind, efficiency, and maybe process of work throughout tournaments. I think that's what I'm looking to gain from him the most.

Q. You've been talking about all you really want to do is follow your plan, and whatever your plan is certainly seems to be working. Could you share a little bit with us what your plan is?
MILOS RAONIC: In what sense?

Q. For the season. You said that you wanted to follow your plan for the season.
MILOS RAONIC: In what context did I say it?

Q. In a previous press conference.
MILOS RAONIC: I think probably what I'm probably referring to -- I'm sorry if I can't recall the exact context -- but what I'm referring to is for me, there is sort of six monumental moments for this year that I really want to put a lot of the attention to: the four being the slams, the Olympics, and Toronto is a big one for me.

I think it's about really making sure that even those weeks, those tournaments, like I am here, improving each day. I think I've taken a lot of big steps forward since I've been healthy and able to make the most of hard work and the grit and effort I put in on court.

I think that's pretty much it. Constant progress. Some days may be a recovery progress; some days may be working on my backhand. Who knows what it is? But that constant progress which I feel like I've been hitting the mark on for a long period of time, disregarding my injury, is what I look for every single day.

Q. In terms of your groundstrokes and movement, do you think you've improved them and there has been an upgrade there?
MILOS RAONIC: Significantly. I think I know better how to use my groundstrokes. But at the same time, because I'm getting to the ball in better position, it's easier. I don't feel like I'm getting hustled around the court that much. I feel like I can find my way back. I don't have to go for big shots on the run. I can sort of neutralize a little bit better.

At the end of the day, as well as I do that, that's never going to be what wins me matches. It's about doing what I can to get ahead in points and be the aggressor and take it to my opponents.

Q. What are the best references from your previous Murray matches?
MILOS RAONIC: I think probably look back at the last one we played in -- London I think was the last time we played in the World Tour Finals, that one.

US Open is one that definitely is going to garner some attention as well.

As much as I look back on it, even before I went on court today I was paying attention to what he was doing. Because far from where we were 14 months ago, we're both very different and I think improved players from then.

So I have certain aspects that I would like to manipulate and use my game in, and I'm sure he's going to try to do a lot of different things, too. I think it's going to be a race to who can get in the comfort zone of themselves first.

Q. Carlos was talking the other day about how you've worked on your aggressive game and going to the net and how you were doing well up there, but also that you need to find the balance and not always make it predictable for your opponent that you're going attack. Against someone like Andy, a good passer and defender, how important is that balance going to be?
MILOS RAONIC: Definitely. But even today it was important. I don't think I served and volleyed as much as I would've last time. I think just really, however the match plays out itself, is reassessing and being in that moment and knowing how to go about things.

Not really being stubborn on you got to do this and this. It's about the constant adjustments you make throughout a match. It's three out of five sets. A lot can happen. A lot of different levels of tennis for three out of five sets as well.

It's about when you can step up, take advantage, and different ways to go about that.

Q. I saw you were at an art museum a few days ago. How important was it for you to maybe use that day in between matches to maybe switch off a bit and also to stay focused on the next match and step back?
MILOS RAONIC: It's something I'm getting better with. I can be very obsessive when it comes to the process and what I need to do for the next match. I am constantly considering things.

That was definitely a nice escape from myself, and I got it participate in something that I really enjoy and a passion that's definitely grown for me over the last two years, I would say.

Q. Was it Warhol or the Chinese?
MILOS RAONIC: I saw a lot of Warhol exhibits before. It was more of the Weiwei installations I wanted to see, especially the Infinite Bicycle one that was in the center of the museum.

Q. In a word, your take on that was?
MILOS RAONIC: Magnificent in many ways. I think that whatever iteration you see of Andy Warhol's life has sort of been redefined over many years due to his unfortunate passing, but Weiwei's story is constantly building and you're hearing something different.

There is a lot I'm learning about his house arrest and all these kind of things, his rebel behavior towards establishment and so forth. I think the most impressive thing is how grand his installations are. It's tough for somebody to put it in their own home, but they speaks wonders I believe.

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