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April 11, 2016

Milos Raonic

Monte Carlo, Monaco

M. RAONIC/M. Cecchinato

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you happy with the way you started this tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: Yes and no. I think I did some things well. I stepped up and I played aggressive when I needed to. But I let myself fall into a little bit too much of a defensive pattern where I was playing a little too far back. It didn't allow me to use my game to dictate. I was a little bit more reactive rather than proactive.

Other than that, I have to be happy that I gave myself another chance to play better in two days, I believe, and keep fighting for this tournament.

Q. (Question about adjusting to the clay.)
MILOS RAONIC: Well, the thing is, I think I adjusted it too much, where I wasn't playing where I should have been. I think I should have played a little bit more like I did on hard courts.

I was trying to be a little bit too fancy with the serve, too many kicks at the beginning. If I can hit the spot well at 220, doesn't matter the surface, it's most likely not going to be coming back, or it's going to be coming back, but I'll be ahead in the point.

It just took me a little bit to sort of get back to my roots rather than trying to adjust too much, I'd say.

Q. You say going 'back to your roots'. Are you going to play a bit differently in this clay court season? Do you want to very much concentrate on your strengths?
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, I think so. You know, I'll be able to dictate and play my best tennis when I stay close to the baseline. I think no more than maybe a meter behind.

I think to return is fine because it allows me to sort of get my weight behind the ball if I return from further back, especially serve. But, you know, as soon as I have that first chance to come back close. I'm not going to be creating any pressures or fears playing from too far back.

Q. This last season for you was really difficult. It was when you were struggling with your injury, ended up having surgery. Does that make you more motivated for this portion of the season?
MILOS RAONIC: I'm very motivated to start. I disregard what has happened last year at this point. I'm grateful to be healthy at this point, and to be able to really push myself and see what I can make of it.

I played okay considering everything last year, but I think I can play much better during this swing this year.

Q. There was a time when players with your sort of game might have thought, Clay, I'm not going to have much chance of success. I'm sure you don't feel that way. Do you feel you can do well on clay?
MILOS RAONIC: I think so. I think I can play really well actually on this surface. It gives me time. It allows me sort of when I get ahead, maybe I don't get as many free points right away, but it allows me to stay ahead if you treat it the right way.

I think today the things I would do better, or I will do better in my next match, is that portion of dictating. On clay, it gives me more time to organize my game. I think today I took that a little bit for granted.

Q. Nothing to do with clay. If you could go back and play one match again in your career, which match might it be? Might it be the semifinal in Australia against Murray?
MILOS RAONIC: Probably. I think I played it the right way, but maybe just sort of hoping that I don't get myself in that situation again, yes.

Q. Do you think if you'd been fit all the way through, you would have won that?
MILOS RAONIC: I would have had a good chance, you know. I created opportunities for myself. Even if that fourth set, I had a few break chances to even it out. Come to a tiebreak, who knows what can happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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