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January 21, 2016

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/T. Robredo

7-6, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Every day different opponent. You didn't seem quite as sharp. Was that because of Robredo maybe playing differently?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, to some extent definitely I felt maybe I let down a little bit after I missed all those breakpoints in the first set. If I maybe connected a little bit better with the forehand, especially that first return game, it can be quite demoting to him, help loosen me up.

I felt I was playing a little bit sort of forcing it a bit too much. I was trying to sort of lug the ball around more than playing a little bit more smoothly like I had in my previous matches.

Q. Was a little bit of that the fact that you had beaten him so easily the last two times?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I don't think it has anything to do with it. I think that's why I wanted too start better because it can sort of enforce that. But I think it's more so just it was a different day, different kind of match.

I don't think I played as clean as I would have liked or continued. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is I got the win.

Q. Could you explain a little bit the work with Carlos.
MILOS RAONIC: It's been quite brief. We spent a few days together at the IPTL. We're starting to get to know each other, sort of discuss what he thought and believed I could do better to sort of reach my goals.

Over the past week since it's been close to a Grand Slam, we haven't been able to necessarily add too many things other than really just the enforcement of when to make which kind of decisions. Maybe a little bit better shot selection and a little bit more from a psychologically side than from a physical side on how to deal with things a little bit better in certain situations.

He was obviously very involved with the whole thing throughout Brisbane. A lot of contact. So he was learning at that point how we went about the process. And then I was also able, through over messages, to get an understanding of how he thought maybe to react differently to a few different situations.

But I think there's a lot we can add to my game. I think you just have to give it time.

Q. Many people see you here as a dark horse. Do you think this could be your first slam final? You're playing with so much confidence.
MILOS RAONIC: I think it's too far to say. I feel like I'm playing well. I feel like I can put forth that tennis. But Saturday I have a big challenge ahead of me. I hope I can get through that one and just go one by one.

The first week the most important thing always is to sort of find a way to win. Hopefully if I'm alive and around, I can play better and better each match. Hopefully that can take me far.

Q. Injury-wise have you solved every pain you had in 2015 and you are completely pain-free?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. The body's in very good shape.

Q. You had some points you won on your second serve. He had a lot of trouble getting it back. What's going through your mind when you're hitting a second serve to a guy like him on an important point?
MILOS RAONIC: He's a rhythm player at the end of the day. The longer you play, the longer the point, these kind of things, he sort of gets in a groove. It's about moving the second serve around the box a little bit more.

He's always struggled with my serve. I don't know how many times we've played now, but I don't believe he's broken me maybe more than twice in six matches or something like that.

I felt like I know how I need to go about things in my service games against him.

Q. Were you impressed by how hard he battled today?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm impressed by how hard he does it every time. He didn't surprise me by any means. It's what you expect. I think he's probably one of the guys that has probably the most saved match points in matches and that kind of stuff.

He saved one in the last match. I think he had that quarterfinal appearance in Roland Garros three times in a row coming back from two sets to love down.

He's always been and had that repertoire.

Q. Can you talk about your next opponent, Viktor Troicki?
MILOS RAONIC: It's going to be difficult. He won last week. I watched a bit of that. So he's feeling well. He battled through also a difficult match on the first day, saving match points, I believe.

Then he had a good win today. Pretty clean from what I saw or what I could watch while I was doing my own thing. I know how he plays. I played him in Beijing not so long ago. I think if I can put my game together a little bit cleaner and more efficient than I did today, be a little bit more proficient at the net, sort of dictate a bit better, I'll be able to give myself some opportunities.

Q. Brought up the mouthguard at the last press conference. Is there any difficulty using it?
MILOS RAONIC: Other than I play with it too much. I fiddle around with it too much.

Q. Very profound question: who is your favorite athlete who uses a mouthpiece? I've got an answer for you. Basketball player.
MILOS RAONIC: No, I'd probably say I like Mike Tyson. I'm guessing boxers have mouthpieces, no?

Q. How about a non-boxer?
MILOS RAONIC: Do you want me to answer what you want to hear or what the actual answer is?

Q. Active player.
MILOS RAONIC: Active player? George St. Pierre. I don't know if you consider him active.

Q. No.
MILOS RAONIC: It's a new year. I'm not ready for 52 more weeks of this.

Q. Can I give you my answer?

Q. Steph Curry.
MILOS RAONIC: But every basketball player plays with a mouthpiece. It's a contact sport.

Q. Point taken.
MILOS RAONIC: Hockey players, too? Football players?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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