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March 17, 2016

Milos Raonic

Indian Wells, California

M. RAONIC/G. Monfils

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a difficult match for you, but still a little bit shorter than your last quarterfinal here.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I did the things well. I created opportunities for myself. I made the most -- started a little bit slow. I didn't make him play enough and that kind of stuff.

I served well and when I did get myself in trouble, I felt like it was me forcing the game those kind of things are positive and I stuck to it and it came together.

Q. When you play Monfils, how difficult is it to actually construct a game plan given there is uncertainty in what's going to be coming from the other side?
MILOS RAONIC: You adjust, but at the same time my game plan was always very simple and it doesn't really adjust to anybody. It's more like I do my things well, and with him he gives you a little bit more that you can maybe swipe at, but he makes you swipe at more balls.

I think you just sort of change your mentality a bit, but I don't think the game plan for me changes. Maybe the side you approach to or what kind of stuff you expect. That's about it.

Q. You're not hitting as many aces this year. Why is that?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm using a lot more of the body serve. I think that's a simple factor. You have most guys that were covering two serves against me. Now I think I have given them three serves to cover.

Plus I'm coming in on pretty much all three of those. It gives me sort of six options to work with. I think my numbers are up in general. I think maybe it doesn't matter as much. I can get away with going for the sidelines against the guys in the early rounds.

But when it comes to, you know, these top guys that can guess, and if they get their racquet on it, they can always make it. It's important to give them something else to think about.

Q. Is that something you thought of or something that Carlos suggested?
MILOS RAONIC: I think it was a big thing that came from Carlos at the start of this year. I know it's been discussed before, but sort of the people I had around me, and I was a little bit stubborn about it. Who doesn't want a free point, right?

I think I was just a little more open and have definitely adjusted. It took me few matches to incorporate it and also feel comfortable doing it, understanding what kind of reactions and balls would be coming back to me.

Q. When a coach suggests something to you, does it take a lot of convincing on your part to accept what they are saying? You want them to really outline exactly what it's all about, their thought processes?
MILOS RAONIC: I think the only thing I'm stubborn with is the serve. I think I know pretty good about my serve, so I can be stubborn about that. Other than that, I think I'm one of the most open guys. Might be one of the most critical guys at the same time, but definitely the most open.

I think I incorporate, I learn, and I take a very strict discipline about really making it better and seeing if it can help me.

Q. At what point with these changes did you say to yourself, Okay, I can do this; I can implement these? Did you really struggle mentally when you first tried it?
MILOS RAONIC: Not so much. You know, everything, I think -- I think I struggled maybe to use it on big points. You sort of go to what habit is and what you believe in. I think there it probably took me a lot more.

I think as soon as I started incorporating it earlier in matches in maybe points that weren't as important, I saw the effectiveness of the things and then it gave me that kind of conviction that it can be a very important key to my game even in the important moments.

Q. Your net success was not that great in that match. Do you have enough experience in full matches now to realize when it's not going particularly well and to make changes in your approach as far as moving forward?
MILOS RAONIC: Well, I think the few -- well, he played well on a few of them, but I think there were a few that were sort of on my racquet.

I think it's just sort of technical things that I didn't do that well in those situations. I don't really get discouraged by the time I'm coming for forward, because to be frank about it, there wasn't many times it was costing me my service games.

I think it was allowing me to put pressure on his service games. That's an important key for me. I think I can get it right, and I believe that, so I keep putting myself there to have that chance to succeed.

Q. Almost perfect conditions tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: Depends on which way, you know. Depends on which way you look at it. I think it gives me maybe more play on his serve, but also I felt like he was getting more of my serves back. Difference from today and when I played him in Melbourne, he stayed further back. I wasn't as effective with that body serve which gave me free points in Melbourne.

But regardless of the conditions, I just try to adjust.

Q. What are your thoughts on the next round?
MILOS RAONIC: You know, he's playing well. He's taking the ball early.

He's trying to, you know, maybe not overpower but take away time from his opponents. I watched a little bit of his match today. Really wanted to nap, to be honest with you. It was the first time to be playing in the evening. I watched quite a bit of his match against Stan.

You see that he's trying to take time away and maybe getting guys to panic and not set up their swings. But I think when it comes to that kind of stuff I'm pretty good at getting things to my term. If he wants to stay on the baseline I'm going to have to try to push him back.

Q. If you had had an imaginary draw at the beginning of the tournament and have to play David Goffin to reach a Masters 1000 final, taking nothing away from him, would you have signed up for that?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, but it also depends who you play before that. I think I have come through some difficult challenges and I have played well. It's a completely new match. At the end of the day, I think it's regardless to me who is necessarily on the other side. I have a very strict and inverse outlook on myself.

If I do the right things I can give myself a chance. I think I have shown that this year, and I hope I can keep showing that.

Q. Is this a small measure of revenge for the Davis Cup loss?
MILOS RAONIC: Not really. I think it's two very different things. I really wish I could have been there in Guadeloupe, and sort of competed in that scenario. This is a completely different thing. I'm not the guy that holds a grudge. I have one guy across the net that wants something that I want more.

Q. I'm probably more of a layperson than everyone else, but when he serves to the body, what's that open up for you and how do other players react when you go to the body?
MILOS RAONIC: You get mostly short returns, especially if you can jam them on the forehand side. If you are -- it's hard for anybody to sort of hit off that right hip or -- and if you get it in the right spot, most of the time they have to hit it with a slice so it's a short ball or ball you can be aggressive with.

But also what it does is maybe the next time you're serving on that side makes them think should they stay there and not guess one side.

Q. What's the challenge playing him? He's so athletic and unpredictable. Does that present any special challenge for you?
MILOS RAONIC: It does. You sort of try not to get in his rhythm. You try to play your game, and I think that's the most important, just to not sort of get sucked into that, trying to be a better athlete than him.

You're not going to try to make the highlight reel more than him. I think for me it's just clear one-two tennis, and the plan is quite clear. Just comes down to can I execute it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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