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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 25, 2016


Milos Raonic


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/S. Wawrinka

6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Must be great to finally get the win against Stan and go through to the quarters. Tell us about your emotions.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it's very positive. I'm very happy with the way I played, the way I competed, the way I turned things around after sort of having the momentum against me going into the fifth.

I'm happy the situation I've put myself in. At the same time, as happy as I am, my mind's already on what's the process for my next challenge.

Q. You didn't show many emotions, at least on the outside. Was it boiling on the inside?
MILOS RAONIC: You know what, not as much as normal because I felt very clear in what I needed to do and I believed that I could do it. I think that gave me some kind of calm and some kind of peace inside. There was a very strong belief that, you know, the opportunities I was creating, I would be able to make the most of it.

Q. What is it like usually?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, it all depends. All depends where you are. Last nine months for me, everything was a question. Some days I was hiding the disappointments I was having because of injuries, some days I was not.

But I think the more as I mature, the more I understand my game, what I need to do, the more, you know, I can keep a quiet head on my shoulders.

Q. Have you ever been attacking so much so frequently like tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it was probably more at the end of it. I don't know if they count every time if the shot ends. Because for me, when I spoke with my team about it, I think I came in more than 80 times.

I don't know if it counts if you win the point with the approach or the serve because I felt like, you know, I was doing well up there. Especially some points I was more efficient than others. Maybe at one point in the third and fourth set, I was coming in too much. So I was a little bit predictable.

I was volleying the first volley really well. I was finishing the points. I was putting pressure on him. I was giving him a situation maybe that he wasn't too comfortable in.

Q. Had you started before this strategy?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's what helped me win in Brisbane. It's what helped me win my first three matches here, is that comfort and confidence of going forward.

But not even just that. In the off-season I spent a lot of time up at the net. So it's not just about a confidence, it's about an understanding of what I need to do, where you go in certain situations, how not only to finish the points, how to defend a little bit better at the net and how to cover and move better to make the opponent think.

Q. How much did you have to kick yourself about letting that ball go that allowed him to get the break in the third set?
MILOS RAONIC: I didn't really think about it too much after at that point. I think later in the changeover I thought about it.

You know, I should have gone for it. I don't think it was a difficult volley, even if there was a little bit of doubt. I think there was maybe a little wishful thinking that it would go long. But I was able to let that go quickly.

Q. You said you're already thinking about your next match. Your thoughts on Gaƫl?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, you know, from what I've seen so far of him, he's playing well. He's very entertaining and he's very difficult to play. He can give you complete ends of the spectrum within one game.

So it's very much of an internal match for me. I just have to take the game to him. I have to make him feel uncomfortable. Not let him get into his sort of playing comfort. If I can sort of keep up with the efficiency moving forward, I'll have definitely some opportunities.

Q. What do you think is the craziest thing you've ever seen him do on the court?
MILOS RAONIC: Probably the thing he does next (smiling).

Q. On the confidence side, you've downed two former Australian Open champs in as many weeks. How is that affecting your outlook going forward? Feeling like you have a mental momentum going?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think it definitely helps with the process of it all. For me, I feel like I'm putting in the work and I'm getting the results from it. I'm very happy with that. It gives me some kind of ease in those difficult moments, maybe if things aren't going necessarily my way completely.

Like being down a break in the second set, that I can find solutions, give myself an opportunity. All of those kind of things coming together, it's just sort of cementing where I am with my game, which way I want to keep taking it.

Q. Stan says it takes a special person to make it to the finals; have to beat a couple of the top four. Do you feel you're that special this year?
MILOS RAONIC: We'll see how special I am. I have a big enough challenge ahead of me in two days' time. Nothing else matters outside of that.

Q. It wasn't too surprising to see Federer become more attacking after he started to be coached by Edberg. But you are now coached by Moya. He wasn't a great attacker. How do you explain it? Is Carlos convincing you you should go more to the net than you were doing before?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's sort of outside. It's also when I had time injured and I wasn't so caught up in, you know, playing a lot of matches, traveling from tournament to tournament, when I was sort of sitting there maybe a little bit annoyed with the physical situation I was in, I was asking myself all the time, What can I do to get better?

It was something definitely I felt was necessary for me. So I think Carlos has been sort of taking the tools that me and Ricardo worked on in the winter, and he is sort of telling me, You're doing well up there; keep getting yourself up there.

He's sort of organizing my strengths, my weapons, and how to use them better.

Q. Any technical reason, any improvement in why you're volleying so well?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I'm much better with my legs. I don't sort of stop to sort of try to arm the volley. I'm just spending a lot more time up there.

Tomorrow when I go back to practice, let's say I practice for an hour, instead of going 10 minutes or 5 minutes at the net, sort of warming up, I have pretty clear goals on what I want to do and I'll give it a more respectable amount of time than I have in the past.

Q. In your next round you'll be playing a Frenchman who is so emotional, entertaining, open with his feelings. Do you ever think sometimes you'd like a little bit of that or are you comfortable with your persona, which is more in-drawn or thoughtful?
MILOS RAONIC: I guess the way I describe myself is trying to be efficient. I know from when I was a junior I learned in many tough lessons that sort of when I get too emotional for the positive I can start going to a negative too fast. That cost me too many matches. I didn't find it was the best thing for me to get the results and achieve the goals I wanted to achieve.

Do I wish I was more like somebody else? No. It just doesn't fit what works best for me.

Q. How much does it mean to win a match like that in a main center court like Rod Laver?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's great. But for me, I think it was more you have these guys, these Grand Slam champions, guys that have been playing great, and to beat one of them for the first time at a slam, doesn't matter if that was on Court 15 or whichever court, it has a very concrete sort of message to the work I'm putting in and how I'm going about things.

Q. Based on what you said you've learned during your injuries, the last nine months, were they a good thing for your career?
MILOS RAONIC: No, because, trust me, I was very depressed a lot of the time being hurt.

Yeah, there was positives to take from it. If I was playing healthy maybe I'd be further along in the progress that I'd like to be, but I just try to make the most of the situation. There's cards you're dealt with in certain situations, and you just try to take it for what it's worth and see if you can, in certain aspects, get a lot out of yourself, try to find other ways where you can make some progress.

For me, every single day is about getting better, even if it's sleeping or whatever, it's about getting better.

Q. You talked about participating in the NBA All-Star Game. I don't know how the scheduling conflicts with here. In any case, if and when you get back there, who are the players that you would really like to play with or talk with? LeBron? Steph?
MILOS RAONIC: LeBron I've had the fortune of meeting a few times before and sort of understanding his mentality.

I think Steph would be great, especially the stratosphere that he's been in in probably the last 16 months with his game. Also, you know, he wasn't the biggest prospect growing up. He was a later draft pick. He went to a smaller school in Davidson. He wasn't picked up by the Dukes and so forth.

And, myself, I wasn't a great junior myself. I think there's a great perspective if I could learn a little bit about what it took for him to get himself to where he is right now.

Q. You talked about efficiency. No one else is more efficient than him these days, would you say?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't know if it's that nobody else is more efficient. I think he's done a spectacular job in redefining how athletic of a sport basketball has become. You have a machine like LeBron who can, with three strides, cover half a court; can move at 250 or more pounds better than most guys on a tennis court move at 170 pounds.

You have him that's taken it pretty much to old traditional ways of basketball, of how good is your shot and trying to sort of create those spaces for himself. It's exciting to see.

Q. The stress on the body to attack so relentlessly for five sets, the up and back as opposed to the more rally-type tennis is very different. What did you do in the off-season to make you think you could keep it up for five sets?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, like I said from the start of the year, I'm in much better shape than I've ever been. I took the time and I spent time up at the net. I spent time doing these drills, maybe not to the extent of as many times as I came in today, but the time's been put in there.

Today being the first time I've done it for so much, I'm very happy with the way my body feels. I think the only thing I felt a little bit is a little bit sort of sore in the back, getting down all those times, which isn't something I've necessarily gotten used to through many matches.

But that's something that I can get back. My legs are great. My body's in great shape. At the same time, as much as I was up at the net, you're not really lugging, sort of forcing too many balls. You try to make contact in front of you. You try to find the open spots on the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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