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January 19, 2016

Milos Raonic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. RAONIC/L. Pouille

6-1, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a step up from Brisbane?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I thought so. In Brisbane I also had quite a few opportunities. Maybe today, just having a bit more comfort and understanding of where I was playing, maybe I let down on a few games when it came to returning.

But I did a good job taking care of my serve and I was proficient on the return games when I needed to be.

Q. What happens in a match when you break a guy the first time he serves in every set?
MILOS RAONIC: Just try to take care of your serve.

Q. Must feel pretty good, though.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it does. Playing ahead is always a little bit easier. The main thing you have to be on top of yourself for at that point is not have any letups. I think I stayed ahead pretty much on my service games. Other than maybe a Love-15 once, I think I was ahead the whole time. I don't think it got to deuce ever. I was putting myself in good spots.

Q. You had good start this year, especially beating Roger Federer in Brisbane. That means a lot, I think. So what do you think about that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think I'm playing well. I think I'm finally healthy, finally allowing my tennis that I have been able to put some time into to sort of speak for itself.

I'm adding a few things. You know, I'm more efficient at the net. I find my way forward and I cover the net better. I'm able to make my opponents think a bit more and be a little bit more calm in situations of pressure, believing that I can take and I can use different things to get ahead.

Q. I wasn't there, but did you play all the matches in Brisbane under a roof?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah. It's under a plastic roof, yes.

Q. I'm wondering, what were the conditions like today? Didn't seem quite as hot as yesterday.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's not too different than last week. I think last week was probably more humid and slow. It's a little bit quicker here.

Just being in the sun I don't think was really an issue today, especially at 11:00. I think I played efficiently the whole time. I got the job done pretty quickly.

Q. What's the story behind the mouth guard?
MILOS RAONIC: Just to not grind my teeth while I play. It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.

Q. Did you have to adjust to it in terms of breathing and all that kind of stuff?
MILOS RAONIC: No, I wear it all the time other than when I'm eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly. Maybe I fiddle it with it too much while I play, but other than that it's pretty much there all the time.

Q. Usually after an unforced error. A window to your soul.
MILOS RAONIC: I guess it's maybe it's a way to calm myself down.

Q. Match fixing: what's your take on this and whether the problem is as widespread as the article made it sound and if the integrity unit is doing everything it can be doing to tackle the problem?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, as far as we are as players, we are told anything comes up of this sort, you bring it up to the right authorities.

I believe there is a hotline that we have as an option really to confront if this does come up. I think that there is enough -- at least from what I understand and from my personal experiences, there is enough being done regarding it.

I don't think anybody in tennis believes and stands for it. If the story has any validity to it, I hope the people that may be -- who weren't named, from what I understand -- may be weeded out.

Tennis is a beautiful. There are many great things about it. It's a little bit, sorry for the language, shitty to read that and sort of see that the attention of the first Grand Slam of the year is more on that than I think the Australian Open, which is one of the four biggest events we play.

Q. This morning Thanasi Kokkinakis said early on in his career he was offered to throw games via social media. I mean, not just by social media, but have you been offered to throw games before?
MILOS RAONIC: No. The closest I have ever come to is people sort of cussing off at me for losing matches when they lose money. (Smiling.)

No kind of upbringing of anything before a match.

Q. Was it a dentist who suggested you...
MILOS RAONIC: No, a chiropractor. Maybe it's helping my back and so forth. (Smiling.)

Q. How about the next round?
MILOS RAONIC: I believe they are playing. Tommy I have played many times. Difficult match, as always. But I feel like I'm playing well. However that challenge presents itself, I think I can find some solutions.

Jaziri I don't know really that much. I believe the coaches are out there watching. I guess it's going to be like always: take care of what I need to take care of within myself, and then make the adjustments need be and try to be in control of myself as much as I can throughout the match.

Q. Why did you choose Carlos Moya as a coach? What do you want to learn from him?
MILOS RAONIC: I think he can help me in being more efficient with my game, using my game better, especially throughout certain situations. I think he can also give me a lot of insight, on and off the court, especially around two-week tournaments, how I can be more efficient sometimes.

I have an inability to sort of after matches are over to sort of switch off and relax completely. I think he can bring that calm to me. With the vast knowledge that he has, and he has great sort of sense of how to approach, how to talk to people, I think he can help me in those kind of different situations.

Q. When you decide to hire Moya, suddenly it comes?
MILOS RAONIC: No. Well, the discussion was there for sort of most of December. What was I going to do? What's next?

When the split happened with Ivan, the whole approach was there is no rush. Ricardo told me he was ready to take on more weeks if he needs to, and until the right choice and the choice that felt the most right was made.

So there was no rush. I got to know Carlos a little bit through IPTL. We spent some time there discussing what he sees in my tennis and how he sees it should be applied and make the steps forward that I want to make.

And then it was decided and sort of put together just before the new year. I think I announced it maybe a day after the new year or two days after. That's sort of when we came to the understanding for the number of weeks and which role for him to play.

Q. Obviously you don't beat Roger Federer every day, but having beaten him and won the tournament in Brisbane, have you ever entered a slam on such a good run and with that much confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I think, no, definitely not in that aspect, but I think it did a lot more for me just considering the nine months before that.

It was a good way to sort of solidify to myself and the people around me we're on the right track and doing the right work. And bar keeping everything healthy, I can put some good tennis forward and sort of put those priorities in line.

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